Prendergast hits 2,000 mark
Kevin Prendergast celebrated a famous winner at Dundalk last night as Tell The Wind gave the veteran Friarstown maestro a 2,000th career success.
Never far off the pace in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, stable jockey Declan McDonogh kicked on a couple of furlongs out on the 11/2 chance and held Johnny Murtagh and the strong-travelling Emerald Ring by a length and three-quarters.
Prendergast, who started training in 1963, has sent out seven Irish Classic winners, also landing the English 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 1977 when Nebbiolo beat Tachypous and The Minstrel. He has another live candidate for top honours in the unbeaten Dunboyne Express, who could head for the Dewhurst or the Racing Post Trophy for his next run.
Winning owner Joe McGrath said: "I was just on the phone to Kevin and he never even mentioned that it was his 2,000th. He just said that she won well and that he was delighted.
"He's only been training horses in those colours for a while. I took them over from my late father, about five years ago.
"Joanna Morgan trained for him after he retired from the training ranks himself. Of course, these colours have been in use since the 1940s, in my grandfather's time.
"They were carried to victory in the 1951 Epsom Derby, in the 1955 Irish Derby, the 1956 Irish Oaks and by Levmoss in 1969 in the Prix de l'Arc. I think we won the French Oaks the year after that too."
Star apprentice Ben Curtis continues to be great value for his 3lb claim and he steered the John Oxx-trained Natalisa to a front-running success from an unfavourable wide draw in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Premier Nursery.
It was a close-run thing, however, as the easy-to-back 7/2 second-favourite had just a neck in hand of 11/4 market leader Expire with Knock Stars flashing home just a short-head away in third.
The win on the Lady Clague-owned runner drew Curtis level at the top of the apprentice championship with Gary Carroll.
Ballybacka Lady powered to an impressive success under Pat Smullen in the two-year-old auction maiden. The 11/8 favourite made all and once asked to go about her business over a furlong out, the response was impressive from the daughter of Hurricane Run as she eclipsed Music Pearl by four lengths.
Prospectorous is proving to be a good servant to his owners, the Pride & Soul Racing Syndicate, and his trainer Philip Dempsey, and the son of Monashee Mountain followed up his Galway success from 25 days ago by landing the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap under Daryl Byrne.