At odds of 18/1, The Echo Boy won the two-mile three-furlong handicap chase under JJ Slevin at Kilbeggan on Friday evening. Owned by Fidelma Toole, the 10-year-old raced clear after the fourth-last fence and never saw another rival as he came home a six and a half-length winner from the Gordon Elliott-trained 7/2 favourite Arctic Ambition.
Conor Stone-Walsh rode his third winner of the season and his sixth in all as he partnered Markievicz to win the apprentice handicap over the extended five and a half furlongs at Navan on Saturday. The 9/1 shot, trained by Sheila Lavery, came from off the pace to lead at the furlong pole and she went clear to score by a length and three-parts from the Claire O’Connell-trained Catherine Chroi.
JJ Slevin was also a winner at Killarney on Sunday as the track’s three-day May festival got underway. He teamed up with Joseph O’Brien to take the opening two-mile one-furlong maiden hurdle for four-year-olds with Custom Of The Sea, the 7/1 chance winning by a comfortable five and a half lengths from the Jarlath Fahey-trained Boher Road in the Annus Mirabilis Syndicate colours. Sean Flanagan was next into the winners’ enclosure as the Martin Hassett-trained Valleyoftheeagles took the maiden hurdle over the same distance. Flanagan had to work far harder for his success than Slevin did and he got the 4/1 shot home by half a length from the Paul Nolan-trained Chiefs Kingdom with Gordon Elliott’s 9/4 favourite Ideal De Ciergues back in third place.
Only hours after taking the Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes at Percy Warner Park in Nashville with Scaramanga, Willie Mullins landed a treble at Killarney on Sunday and it was Sean O’Keeffe that rounded off a brilliant weekend for the champion trainer with his success on Pont Aval in the Tote Killarney National Handicap Chase. The Nigel King-owned 16/1 chance led after the final fence and drew clear to score by 10 lengths from the Henry de Bromhead-trained Gateau De Miel. Fresh off his flight home from America, Paul Townend had earlier ridden two winners for Mullins, Saldier and Hauturiere.
Killarney – Tuesday, May 16 (First Race 5pm)
Sligo – Tuesday, May 16 (First Race 5.15pm)
Cork – Wednesday, May 17 (First Race 5.20pm)
Tipperary – Thursday, May 18 (First Race 5.30pm)
Downpatrick – Friday, May 19 (First Race 4.55pm)
Leopardstown – Friday, May 19 (First Race 5.10pm)
Wexford – Saturday, May 20 (First Race 1.40pm)
Naas – Sunday, May 21 (First Race 1.45pm)