Injured Raffa's racing career in big doubt
Midtown Raffa, winner of the Irish Independent Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park back in May, may never run again after sustaining a serious injury in the Doire Construction Champion Stakes at Shelbourne Park.
Trainer Moss O'Connor yesterday reported that the dog "cracked a bone in his hock" during the race, and the odds will be against him ever returning to the track.
"I knew from an early stage that there was something wrong with him," said O'Connor. "He just wasn't running down the back straight. He is bandaged up at the moment and is likely to end up with a cast or will have a pin inserted.
"One way or another he is likely to be out of action for a long time. It is a pretty severe injury.
"It would be well into the winter before we could start galloping him and he is getting on a bit. The odds are probably against him returning at his best."
Midtown Raffa was a great servant to the Skevana Syndicate and they thoroughly enjoyed their big night at Curraheen after winning the Laurels.
He also ran up the BIF Produce Stakes last year to Boylesports Hero and also lost the final of the BoyleSports Race of Champions by an inch to Rural Hawaii.
With Midtown Raffa is out of the reckoning for the BoyleSports Irish Derby, defending champion Laughil Blake is the 12/1 favourite with the sponsors.
Third favourite in their list at 20/1 is Ballydoyle Honey, who will be having a trial on Thursday before racing.
Meanwhile, Tim O'Donovan, who won the 2005 Irish Derby with He Said So, has a potential new star in Fairway View, which is the likely favourite for Sunday's final of the Open Unraced at Clonmel.
Fairway View showed big early gears when winning his semi-final, where he cleared the corner, contained Droopys Cambs to the third bend and then drew clear for a five-length margin over Droopys Cambs in 28.56.
The other semi saw the Brendan Maunsell-trained Big Time Ruby also lead all the way when winning by a length and a half from Vivaro Swift in 28.94.