'Boy's outlook appears Sunny

Keith Hamer

Sunnyhillboy is set to return to training at Jonjo O'Neill's stables in the next month following his recovery from a serious leg injury.

The nine-year-old damaged his tendon when he was caught on the line by Neptune Collonges in the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree in April.

The horse was operated on by vets in Liverpool and has been recuperating at his owner JP McManus's Martinstown Stud in Co Limerick.

"Everything is grand with him. He's still at Martinstown but hopefully he's due back in the next month or so. All the reports are good," O'Neill said.

"It was nasty enough. When the infection gets in under the tendon sheath it can be very dangerous, but he was in the right place at Aintree.

"They did a great job and we've got to be thankful to them."

Grand National-winning rider Paul Carberry, meanwhile, was out of luck on his eagerly anticipated return to action at Down Royal.

One of Irish racing's biggest names was ruled out of the Galway Festival when he suffered a fracture to his left shoulder blade in a fall at Killarney during the middle of July, but was back in the saddle with six rides north of the border.

Carberry rode leading fancy Smithfield for boss Noel Meade in the opening Dale Farm Maiden Hurdle, but the 5/1 chance failed to land a serious blow, finishing fifth behind Sizing Machine.

He then partnered hot favourite Queen Of The Hill in the Premier Bakeries Ireland Mares Maiden Hurdle for Tom Cooper, but she proved a bitter disappointment, finishing well back as 7/1 shot Ms Bliss claimed victory.

Ms Bliss represents the Dot Love team that has done so well with Shadow Elie, and assistant trainer Ciaran Murphy said: "We only got her after Galway and a lot of credit has to go to the owner's daughter Helena Keaveney.

"She is a lovely mare and she will have a run on the Flat now and then go for a winners' hurdle.

"She's a good horse and she will go for the same mares' races that Shadow Eile went for."


Carberry was again out of the frame in the Procter & Gamble Maiden Hurdle as the Cooper-trained Kerryhead Storm raced in mid-division before staying on at the one pace to be fifth, the same position Meade's Protaras occupied in the Tayto Group Hurdle.

Hopes for better on Formal Bid in the McCormack Potato Handicap Hurdle were dashed as Gordon Elliott's five-year-old was a faller when towards the rear of the field. Happily, both horse and rider were quickly on their feet.

Carberry went closest on his last ride as he worked the Elliott-trained Raajih into contention in the Allied Bakeries Handicap Hurdle, but could not quite get on terms after the last and had to settle for a close third.

About the only thing Sanjuro and Effie B have in common is being two-year-olds trained by Mick Channon, but the pair both chipped in to provide winners for the in-form stable at Sandown.

Anything more Effie B does is likely to be a bonus, as the experienced chestnut provided a second victory from 10 starts in the Orleans Nursery, but rather bigger things are expected from Investec Derby entry Sanjuro.

A son of the fine German sire Manduro, he was fifth on his debut at Newbury a fortnight ago and stuck on in determined fashion to take the second division of the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF Maiden Stakes by half a length.


Ayaar and Ollie Olga have won Group races for Channon over the last week with the juvenile team firing on all cylinders, and Effie B (5/1) continued to exceed expectations as she charged along the far rail under stable jockey Martin Harley.

"She's a tough little thing, she's won a couple and been third in a Listed race, and the owner (Richard Bastian) is pleased as she's a home-bred," said Channon.

"Considering the dam was only rated 37, she hasn't done bad."

Title-chasing Richard Hughes, riding Correggio in the division one of the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing EBF Maiden Stakes, was given a two-day ban for using his whip above the permitted level and sits out September 14 and 16. The pair had finished third in the race.