Conor Stone-Walsh certainly had a year to remember and brought his tally for the season to 24 winners when taking the five-furlong handicap on the Joe Murray-trained Mickey The Steel at the Curragh on Sunday. The 14/1 chance, owned by John Lynch and Patrick Sheridan, led after halfway and battled well to score by a neck from Transcendental, ridden for Gavin Cromwell by Robert Whearty. It was a second win for the five-year-old this season and his fourth in all. The victory secured third spot for Stone-Walsh in the apprentice championship. Kildare’s Jamie Powell won the title with 28 winners, three clear of runner-up Adam Caffrey who hails from County Meath.
A runner-up with Maxi Mac Gold in the opening division of the two-mile maiden hurdle, Paul Nolan enjoyed better luck as Conyers Hill won the handicap hurdle over the same distance at Cork on Sunday. Owned by the Buzzer Racing Syndicate and ridden by Sean O’Keeffe, the 100/30 favourite battled well to beat the Peter Fahey-trained Showman by a head. Sean Flanagan and Gavin Cromwell were Grade 3 winners as Letsbeclearaboutit scored a 10-length success in the two and a half-mile novice chase. The Alymer Stud-owned eight-year-old went clear over the final fence to beat the Cian Collins-trained Mighty Tom in great style and the winner might next reappear in the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.
Big race success for Irish in America and Britain
Aidan O’Brien was among the big winners at the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Santa Anita over the weekend where his dual Derby hero and Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes winner Auguste Rodin landed the 12-furlong Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. The Ryan Moore-ridden 9/4 favourite beat local hope Up To the Mark by three-parts of a length with Japanese contender Shahryar half a length away in third place. The win saw O’Brien become the first trainer to win the same Breeders’ Cup race seven times and came 24 hours after his Unquestionable, another ridden by Ryan Moore, had beaten his own stable companion Mountain Bear to take the Juvenile Turf at odds of 6/4 favourite. O’Brien now has 18 Breeders’ Cup winners to his name while Moore’s tally stands at 14.
At little closer to home, at Wetherby on Saturday, the Mouse Morris-trained Gentlemansgame got the better of Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Bravemansgame to win the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase, a first Irish success in the race since Frances Crowley won with Sackville in 2001. Having just his third run over fences, the Darragh O’Keeffe-ridden seven-year-old scored by a length and three-quarter at odds of 7/2.
Fairyhouse – Tuesday, November 7 (First Race 11.53am)
Dundalk – Wednesday, November 8 (First Race 1.25pm)
Clonmel – Thursday, November 9 (First Race 12.30pm)
Down Royal – Friday, November 10 (First Race 12.40pm)
Dundalk – Friday, November 10 (First Race 5.15pm)
Down Royal – Saturday, November 11 (First Race 12.30pm)
Gowran Park – Saturday, November 11 (First Race 12.20pm)
Naas – Sunday, November 12 (First Race 11.40am)