Friday 19 January 2018

Delight for McDonagh as Bajan holds off The Reaper challenge

Thomas Kelly

english trainer Kevin Ryan was on the mark at Dundalk last night when his Bajan Tryst took the six-furlong sprint handicap, the first leg of a 49/1 double for his jockey Declan McDonogh.

There was a thrilling conclusion to the contest with the 10/1 raider proving a neck too good for The Reaper. Ryan wasn't present but winning rider McDonogh said: "Bajan Tryst is very game and stuck at it well when they all came at him -- he's got a great attitude."

McDonogh went on to complete his brace when winning the finale aboard Kevin Prendergast's Ansaab.

Glor Na Mara's frustration continued when made to play second fiddle by Gordon Lord Byron (14/1) in the six-furlong maiden.

Jim Bolger's charge had top-class form as a juvenile and earlier this year but he keeps failing to get off the mark and this time it was Gordon Lord Byron, trained by Tom Hogan and ridden by Wayne Lordan, which knuckled down best to win by half a length.

Aidan O'Brien's Wave broke her duck at the third attempt in the opening maiden. Always to the fore under the trainer's son Joseph, the daughter of Dansili only had Hongkong Dancer to worry about in the final furlong and she saw off that rival to win by half a length.

The O'Briens then completed a double of their own when steering Flavia Tatiana to win the first division of the 11-furlong handicap.

The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor travelled well into the straight before eventually battling off the challenge of Elizabeth Coffee.

Leader in the race for the Flat jockeys' crown, Johnny Murtagh gave Katherine Lee a rip-roaring ride to claim the one-mile handicap. The 9/2 favourite came down the centre of the track and although seemingly a sitting duck, the filly responded admirably to her rider's urgings and held Tarrsille a head at bay.

Murtagh then pulled further clear of Pat Smullen in the hunt for the title when guiding Mick Halford's Eastern Rules home in the Group Bookings At Dundalk Handicap.

Meanwhile, the in-form O'Brien will rely on Racing Post Trophy fourth Learn in tomorrow's Criterium International at Saint-Cloud as he bids to land the Group One juvenile contest for the third year running.

O'Brien, who has won the race with Jan Vermeer and Roderic O'Connor in the past two years, took out Nephrite, which runs in the Group Three Killavullan Stakes on the same day.

Learn, which will be ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, will face the Andrew Balding-trained Bonfire, while Gay Kelleway runs Swing Alone.

Irish Independent

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