Slattery's 'Pipes' strikes decisive blow at Killarney
Big improver Creggs Pipes raced to a well-backed success in the feature at Killarney last night for trainer Andy Slattery and jockey Declan McDonogh.
Victorious off a mark of 75 at the Curragh in May, the four-year-old also won on her next start at headquarters. Raised to a mark of 94 after that, the daughter of Rip Van Winkle was available at 6/1 for the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes, but went off the 11/4 second favourite last night.
And she made all to hold off Assume by a neck. The runner-up was returned at 10/1 under Wayne Lordan for David Wachman, while Duchess Andorra (20/1) finished third for Johnny Murtagh and Niall McCullagh.
"She is tough and keeps at it. Not everyone is a fan of Rip Van Winkle (as a sire) but I love them and couldn't get enough of them," Slattery said.
Wachman had better luck in the previous race, landing his first winner on the turf this season as his Hidden Oasis claimed the Irish Examiner Handicap.
Wachman last visited the winner's enclosure when Posing won at Dundalk on April 1. Hidden Oasis, the 4/1 joint favourite, was sent to the front by Lordan inside the final furlong and won by three-quarters of a length from Could Should Would for Andy Oliver and Chris Hayes, with the other joint favourite Credit The Giver third for jockey/trainer brothers Donnacha and Joseph O'Brien.
Meanwhile, the feature event on tonight's card at the picturesque Kerry venue is the €32,500 Bourn Vincent Memorial Steeplechase and this looks a wide-open contest.
Matthew Smith's Empresario was third in the race last year and is bound to be a strong contender again, while the likes of Mr Fiftyone, Lilly The Lioness, Bright New Dawn, Hurricane Ben and Sheisaportrait all have claims.
Marginal preference, though, is for the in-form Lilly The Lioness with talented Kerry rider Jack Kennedy in the saddle.
Garrett Power's charge has won her last two races, on the Flat over 1m 4f at Tipperary last time and before that in a two-mile chase at Wexford, so she should be spot on for this assignment.
Tiger Roll is another form choice in the concluding Bunkers Bar & Restaurant Killorglin Novice Chase. The 2014 Triumph Hurdle winner is seeking a hat-trick over fences, having won at Ballinrobe in May, before following-up at Kilbeggan. He faces stiff competition from Ronnie Wood's Sandymount Duke but can continue on an upward curve for Bryan Cooper and Gordon Elliott.
And another to note on a seven-race card is 'Shark' Hanlon's Hidden Cyclone in the McSweeney Arms (QR) Race. Katie Walsh takes the ride on John Oxx's Affinisea in this one but Hidden Cyclone won on the Flat at Leopardstown last year, and can do so again in the capable hands of Patrick Mullins.