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Double for O'Keeffe

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Seán O’Keeffe rode two winners

Seán O’Keeffe rode two winners

Seán O’Keeffe rode two winners

It was a relatively quiet week for the Wexford connections, with the highlight being the winning double for Taghmon rider, Seán O'Keeffe, and big hunter chase success for point-to-point star, Rob James. Trainers Liz Doyle and Paul Nolan also maintained momentum.

The James win at Clonmel on Thursday was in a very competitive Hunter Chase aboard the David Christie-trained favourite, Some Man (6/4), coming in well clear. Seán Flanagan was third in a 16-runner mares' maiden hurdle on 66/1 shot, Gills Pet, and Liz Doyle's Farmix (28/1) was second in a maiden hurdle under Donagh Meyler.

Doyle went one better the next day when recording her tenth win of the season with Ahgetawayoutadat (7/1) in a handicap hurdle, giving Seán O'Keeffe winner 18 of a season where he has lost quite a bit of time to injury.

O'Keeffe added to his tally in the easiest style in the first at Punchestown on Sunday when romping to a 29-length success in a beginners' chase for Cork trainer Seán Aherne on Chosen Hour (11/2).

Paul Nolan made it a second Wexford win on the card with My Club Colours (9/1) for the Gaels Racing Club, Philip Enright steering him home by four lengths in a handicap hurdle.

At Fairyhouse on Saturday, Seán Flanagan was second on Strange Notions (5/2) for Charles Byrnes in the maiden hurdle behind the Mullins-Townend hotpot, Jazzaway (9/10f). Flanagan had to survive being quite badly hampered at the last when leading.

Seán O'Keeffe was on a Gordon Elliott favourite in the €18k three-mile handicap hurdle but was well beaten into second on Thunder Down Under (5/2) by Alohamora (5/1) for James Nash.

Meanwhile, Barry O'Neill was a well beaten third on Elliott's I A Connect (5/4) in the bumper.

Daryl Jacob got back in action on a winning note after a month's injury absence with a single ride at Ludlow on Wednesday aboard Dragon D'Estruval (3/1) for Nicky Henderson, and he began the big meeting at Kempton Saturday with a win on Goa Lil (12/1) for Nigel Twiston-Davies.

However, he will have been disappointed with the run of last year's winner, the Henderson-trained Top Notch (11/10f), in the featured £60k Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase in which he could only finish third of five, well behind front running Bryony Frost on Frodon (5/4).

Tom O'Brien had a comfortable winner at that Ludlow meeting on Miss Austen (3/1) for Hughie Morrison, but made little impression with his three rides at Kempton.

Taghmon flat jockey P.J. McDonald did not make his expected return last week. He has been out of the saddle since December 20 and has no booked rides in the pipeline.

In the U.A.E., the Meydan Carnival is back in Dubai and Pat Dobbs (Enniscorthy) had a good payday on Thursday when picking up a cool £158,000 when getting Kimbear (4/1) home by two short heads in a thrilling Group 2 one-miler for Doug Watson, in a race featuring many top riders, including Jim Crowley, Christophe Soumillon, Tadhg O'Shea and Mickael Barzalona.

Irish point-to-point graduates made a clean sweep of the placings in the Grade 2 Novices Hurdle at Warwick on Saturday, with victory going to former Donnchadh Doyle inmate at Monbeg, Mossy Fen (7/2 from 11/2 in the morning), for Sam and Nigel Twiston-Davies.

This one had been bought for £60k at the Tattersalls April sale after a point-to-point maiden success for Doyle last April at Loughbrickland, Co. Down.

He had purchased him for £30k nine months earlier.

Mossy Fen has won three of his four hurdle races since going to England.

Wexford People