Daryl Jacob made the most of a two-day stint in Ireland over the weekend. He record his 10th Grade 1 success on this side of the Irish Sea when leading home a 1-2-3 for trainer Willie Mullins in the rearranged Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas on Friday as Readings Tommy Wrong took the major honours as the outsider of the field at odds of 16/1.
Now successful in all four racecourse starts, the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned six-year-old got up in the dying strides to pip the Paul Townend-ridden Ile Atlantique, in the Tony Bloom colours, by a neck, with the Slaneyville Syndicate-owned Lecky Watson seven and a half lengths away in third place.
Jacob rode a second winner in the same colours as the Tom Gibney-trained Intense Raffles took the rated novice chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday on his first start in Ireland. The French import, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, raced to a four and a half-length win over Gordon Elliott’s Where It All Began at odds of 13/2.
Having lost out narrowly when a runner-up at the Limerick Christmas Festival, Casey West went a place better to win the two and a half-mile hunters’ chase for Tomhaggard amateur Tiernan Power-Roche and trainer Philip Rothwell at Clonmel on Thursday. Owned by the Casey Brothers Syndicate, the eight-year-old battled well under Tiernan Power Roche to pip the Seamus Murnane-trained Dromleigh by a head at odds of 7/4 favourite. The winner will next run in a point-to-point according to the in-form Tinahely trainer but the season’s target is the Aintree festival in April.
Conor Stone-Walsh landed his third jumping success when winning the opportunity handicap hurdle on the Edward and Patrick Harty-trained American Money at the rearranged Naas fixture on Friday. Owned by the Iona Winning Syndicate, the 6/1 chance was all out to hold off the late lunge of the James Nash-trained Circus Act by a shorthead.
At Kempton on Saturday, Joseph O’Brien’s Banbridge became the first Irish-trained winner of the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase. The Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival beckons for the 3/1 winner which was ridden by JJ Slevin.
Dundalk – Tuesday, January 16 (First Race 1.05pm)
Fairyhouse – Thursday, January 18 (First Race 12.30pm)
Dundalk – Friday, January 19 (First Race 4.30pm)
Navan – Saturday, January 20 (First Race 12.45pm)
Thurles – Sunday, January 21 (First Race 12.30pm)