Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 19 January 2019

Townend steers home quartet at 88/1 on opening day at Listowel

Paul Townend. Photo: Sportsfile
Paul Townend. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

The opening day of Listowel belonged to Paul Townend as the Cork jockey booted home a brilliant 88/1 four-timer.

First up for Townend was the facile success of 1/16 favourite Wicklow Brave in the Kerrymaid Hurdle for Willie Mullins and he then guided Eric McNamara's Percy Veer (3/1) to victory in the three-mile maiden hurdle.

In the following mares' handicap hurdle he struck for Michael Hourigan on Humm Baby (5/1) before steering the Mullins-trained Camelia De Cotte (5/2) home in the Cheesestrings Mares Novice Chase.

Sent to the front on the final circuit, the market leader was kept up to her work in the straight by Townend to prevail by the guts of three lengths from the well-backed Ellie Mac.

Mullins went on to record a treble in the last as the champion trainer's son Patrick guided evens favourite Scaglietti to victory in the bumper.

The feature event on the card, the Kerry Group Handicap Chase, saw McNamara bring up a 17/1 double as his Black Scorpion justified 7/2 favouritism in the hands of Kevin Brouder.

Across the water, Limato continued his recent revival as he made his class count in the Ryedale House Garrowby Stakes at York.

Having ended a spell in the doldrums with victory in a Listed event at Newmarket last time out, the six-year-old followed up at the same level in the six-furlong feature.

Anchored at the rear of the field, the 4/9 favourite was produced around the outside of his rivals before moving on entering the final furlong with eventual runner-up Stormbringer.


Although forced to work hard to get to the front, the dual Group One winner finished comfortably on top to win by two lengths.

Trainer Henry Candy said: "He's just as enthusiastic as ever. He will go where he gets some decent ground now. The first possibility is the Bengough Stakes at Ascot and obviously there is the Foret on Arc day.

"There is also the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket and the Champions Sprint at Ascot, but that is late in the year and I imagine the ground will be completely gone."

Meanwhile, Enable is a hot favourite to successfully defend her Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe crown after Saturday's faultless comeback at Kempton.

John Gosden's filly was the undoubted star of the 2017 Flat season, but frustratingly for her connections and racing fans alike, she has missed much of the current campaign through injury.

Enable was in receipt of 8lb from her only serious rival, King George runner-up, Crystal Ocean for the September Stakes and was an 8/15 favourite, under Frankie Dettori.

But it was still hard not to be impressed by the manner of her three-and-a-half-length success and she is now the general 7-4 market leader for the first Arc to be run at the new ParisLongchamp.

Irish Independent

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