Donnas Palm gives Meade plenty to get excited about
Noel Meade and Dermot Weld scooped the main prizes on offer during Tipperary's Super Sunday meeting yesterday as the former completed a one-two in the Friends Of Tipperary Hurdle and Weld saw Emulous land the Concorde Stakes in the Workforce colours.
Meade captured the Grade Two jumping feature for the third time in six years when favourite Donnas Palm, watched by quite a few members of the Oireachtas-based Grand Alliance Racing Club, outpaced stablemate Aitmatov (12/1) from the final flight.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who is one of the club members for whom Donnas Palm has now won eight races under both codes, was unable to make the trip to Tipp as were party colleagues junior minister Billy Kelleher and former Cabinet colleague Frank Fahy.
Whether this latest Paul Carberry-partnered victor will ever emulate the feats of Meade's 2005 scorer Harchibald and currently sidelined Go Native, which hit the target too a year ago, is open to question, but their in-form handler has some ambitious targets.
"I'm delighted with this horse, which only began to fire again in the past 10 days. He had a stone bruise, which took time to clear and now he'll probably deputise for Go Native in the likes of the Morgiana Hurdle and the Hatton's Grace," said Meade.
Another enthusiastic syndicate, this time the prison officers who form the Total Recall Racing Club, were in a happy mode after Beau Michael also returned to winning ways under an enterprising ride from Barry Geraghty in the O'Dwyer Steel Novice Chase.
Castledermot, Kildare, trainer Sean Byrne then enjoyed the biggest success of his career to date when Oilily quickened smartly in the closing stages of the Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle to halt the winning sequence of Ballyadam Brook.
Earlier on in a session attended by 3,500 spectators, Weld was pleased to witness a smart display from Emulous in the Coolmore Stud-sponsored Concorde Stakes just minutes after Workforce's Arc victory for their owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah.
Championship pacesetter Pat Smullen brought the Dansili filly with a sustained challenge to overhaul hotpot Keredari.
Meanwhile, there was drama at Dundalk when the first division of the 10-furlong handicap was declared void.
The race was overshadowed by a nasty fall sustained by Danny Grant when his mount Red Jim stumbled coming out of the stalls. With Grant being tended to on the track, jockeys were waved to the opposite side of the course as they came back to where he was lying motionless.
Confusion was caused and some jockeys eased down on their mounts. The stewards decided to declare the race void. Early reports indicated that Grant suffered lacerations to his face and a few broken teeth.