Nolan among winners
TRAINER PAUL Nolan was among the winners at Cork on Sunday as he sent out Shuilamach to win the McCarthy Insurance Group Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
Owned by Robert Hodgins, Shuilamach travelled nicely into contention under 18-year-old rider David Mullins and stretched clear after the last to beat Kindly Vinnie by five lengths. Shuilamach was returned at odds of 5-1.
Nolan was back in the winners' enclosure at Thurles on Monday (yesterday) when Cleariestown rider Mikey Fogarty and the Davidstown handler teamed up to win the opening race with I'm All You Need. Sent off the 7-2 third favourite for the INH Stallion Owners' INH Maiden Hurdle, I'm All You Need crept into contention under a confident ride from Fogarty and hit the front in between the final two flights en route to a four-length victory over He's Our Robin. I'm All You Need is owned by Phillip Byrne.
New Ross rider Donagh O'Connor is making a real name for himself around Dundalk and he started 2015 in the best possible fashion on Friday night by guiding Your Pal Tal to victory in the opening www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap over five furlongs.
O'Connor helped himself to four winners in 2014 but it would be no surprise to see him surpass that total this year, and he certainly looked the part on the Johnny Levins-trained Your Pal Tal which he sent to the front over a furlong out en route to victory over Majestic Timeline. The winning distance was one and three-quarter lengths and he was returned at odds of 100-30.
Having sent out three consecutive winners of the Epsom Derby, Aidan O'Brien was honoured at the annual Moyglare Stud dinner in Kildare on Saturday night.
The Ballydoyle trainer has won the race on five occasions but created history when becoming the first trainer to win it three times in a row with Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013) and Australia (2014).
Also honoured were the organising committee of the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh in September.
Over 24,000 people attended over the two days and plans for the follow up event on September 12 and 13 are well under way.
Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming days: Dundalk, Friday, January 9 (first race 6.05 p.m.); Punchestown, Saturday, January 10 (first race 12.40 p.m.); Fairyhouse, Sunday, January 11 (first race 1 p.m.).