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Ellen Doyle’s shock 66/1 victory at Kilbeggan


Seán Flanagan rode a winner at Cork.

Seán Flanagan rode a winner at Cork.

Seán Flanagan rode a winner at Cork.


IT WAS a pretty run-of-the mill week on the home front, with five flat meetings and four over jumps.

Some of the scheduling was bizarre, with two flat meetings on Thursday and two jumps meetings on Friday – surely it would be more sensible to have racing for both wings of the sport on those days rather than splitting the resources of stables over venues at different ends of the country.

Kilbeggan on Friday featured the venue’s richest-ever race, the €100,000 graded AXA Insurance Midlands National, with a €25k hurdle in support.

However, the race that mattered for Ellen and James Doyle’s Baltimore Stable at Coolgarrow, Enniscorthy, which is running into form, was a more humble maiden hurdle when they pulled off a 66/1 shocker with Whatdoyouwanttoknow under Gearóid Brouder.

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It didn’t look on when they were struggling in ninth place at the third-last hurdle, but they picked up and they took it up at the last and romped clear by ten lengths from another outsider, Lonesome Day (50/1).

The odds-on favourite, The Folkes Tiara (4/7) for Blackmore and De Bromhead, trailed in fourth.

Brouder said his mount ran very green and there’s plenty of room for improvement. “He’s a fine big horse and he could be anything with more experience.”

Noel Dooly’s Davidstown stable is also going well and he had a couple of places – second in the bumper with Down Around (13/2) under Tiernan Power-Roche behind an impressive Mullins hotshot, Spread Boss Ted (10/11), and third in a handicap hurdle with Where’s Bunny (7/1).

Gordon Elliott’s Hurricane Georgie (8/1) ran away with the Midlands National under Jack Kennedy.

In Cork the same evening, Seán Flanagan, settling into life as a freelance, got his second win of the season on Gavin Cromwell’s Just Jacob (5/1f) which avoided some chaos at the second flight from home, with the badly-hampered Sequoiaspirit (13/2) staying on for second a length and a half back.

It was Flanagan’s first time on the winner which had unseated in his previous outing, and he was impressed: “While I was further back than I wanted to be, he jumped well and really stayed going despite idling a bit when left in front.”

Flanagan also got a clear second on Misty’s Gift (6/1) in a three-mile maiden hurdle for David Harry Kelly, not helped by a mistake at the second last.

Seán O’Keeffe was also among the winners on Whiskey Sour (2/1f) for Willie Mullins in the Luke McMahon colours, his third win of the season. He took it up at the last and held on under a strong O’Keeffe drive to hold off Cromwell’s Darver Star (10/3), third in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle at his height. Jordan Gainford was third on Elliott’s Soviet Pimpernel (8/1).

On Sunday, Flanagan had one ride in the opener at Sligo on Single Edition (14/1) for Nigel Slevin and had to be content with fourth, behind the Jordan Gainford-ridden Gordon Elliott outsider, As Tears Go By (18/1)

James O’Sullivan took second in a two-mile handicap hurdle on Peckham Springs (9/2) trained by Dermot McLoughlin, behind Peter Fahey’s Skippin Court (13/2).

Denis Murphy (The Ballagh) is more often in point-to-point action, but he got a good second in the two-mile two bumper with his owned and trained Eire Street (18/1) under Simon Cavanagh, behind Harry Swan on John Ryan’s On The Sixth Day (9/2).

Action began over jumps at Roscommon on Monday, and the only Wexford showing of note was a second for Seán Flanagan on his only ride on the awkwardly-named Hisnameis Mrdevitt (6/4f), trained by Peter Fahey, handily beaten by Gordon Elliott’s Amir Kabir (15/8) in a maiden hurdle.

Featured racing this week is a five-day Festival at Killarney from Monday onwards, with the classic Irish Oaks the feature of a major card at the Curragh next Saturday.