Sallyanka seals Griffin double
EOIN Griffin showed that his string are in fine form at Kilbeggan last night as Artiste Bay's success in the Sean Hughes Memorial Handicap Chase initiated a double for the Kilkenny trainer.
Eddie O'Connell gave Artiste Bay a copybook ride as the blinkered nine-year-old came through strongly on the run-in to get up and deny Pistol Jack by three lengths.
"That's been a long time coming," Griffin said of his wife Martina's French-bred. "He's a small horse and a favourite in the yard -- he runs his heart out every day. He struggles a bit with big weights and we'll see where we'll go next -- he wants three miles plus anyway."
Mikey Fogarty has few peers at present when it comes to winning bumpers and the Wexford pilot was at it again when bringing home Sallyanka in the concluding Loughnagore INH Flat Race to complete a double for Griffin.
Fogarty donned the Mark McDonagh silks of Don't Be Bitin (killed in a fall in last summer's Galway Plate when Fogarty was riding) on Sallyanka and she ran out a decisive winner from Cliff Climber.
Meanwhile, there was a blow to Davy Russell's hopes of becoming champion jockey when he fell from Inter Mutanda in the Greville Arms Hotel Handicap Hurdle. The Cork rider was nursing his arm afterwards and was stood down for the rest of the evening.
The race was won by Larkin, which landed a morning gamble from 16/1 into a starting price of half those odds with a fluent success to provide his Slane-based trainer Patrick Downey with his first success on the track.
Downey produced Larkin, with Robbie Colgan up, in good shape to easily account for the front-runner The Tinker Murray.
At Perth yesterday, Gordon Elliott struck again as a double made it seven winners over the three-day Festival.
Definite All Star claimed the opening maiden hurdle, while 6/5 favourite Trendelenburg struck gold in the conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle.
"We're having a good week -- happy days," Elliott said.
However, it was Galway rider Graham Lee who stole the show on the final day of the Perth Festival by riding a fantastic 392/1 treble.