Ben Coen got the better of his brother Jake to win the handicap over the extended eight furlongs on the Tom Mullins-trained San Aer at Galway on Bank Holiday Monday. Owned by the trainer’s wife Helen, the four-year-old left it late but led in the final strides to beat the Matthew Smith-trained Excuzio Joe by half a length, with Andrew Slattery-ridden Fools Glory four and a quarter lengths away in third place.
Aidan O’Brien, crowned champion trainer for the 25th time at Naas on Sunday, landed his first winner of the week as the Seamie Heffernan-ridden Carracci took the seven-furlong maiden for two-year-olds at Dundalk on Wednesday. A well-supported 9/4 chance, he got the better of his own stable companion Farnborough by half a length with the Joseph O’Brien-trained even money favourite two and a half lengths away in third place. It was 50th winner of the season for the veteran jockey. Gavin Ryan teamed up with County Meath trainer Keith Clarke to take the opening division of the seven-furlong handicap with Maestro Stick. The 4/1 chance came home a one and a quarter length winner from the Denis Hogan-trained 3/1 favourite Jaafel
Killenaule-based trainer Julie Cashin and Cashel’s Evan Dwan combined to win the mares’ maiden hurdle with the four-year-old Navy Waves at Thurles on Thursday. The 33/1 chance arrived with her challenge after the final hurdle and got up on the line to deny the front-running Michael Grassick-trained 10/11 favourite Mollys Glory by a nose.
Seamie Heffernan gave Aidan O’Brien his first success of the weekend when taking the seven-furlong maiden for two-year-olds with 8/11 favourite Beginnings at Dundalk on Friday. She beat Ger Lyons’ Sweetest Rose by an impressive six lengths. Heffernan and O’Brien were winners again as 1/5 favourite Bertinelli scored a narrow win in the two-year-old maiden over eight furlongs. The race was in the balance well inside the final furlong but the favourite found a little more to win by a neck from the Jessica Harrington-trained Pivotal Revive. Ben Coen was back in the winners’ enclosure as he kicked off a good weekend for trainer Johnny Murtagh when winning the second leg of the same race with the Michael O’Flynn-owned Mere Accountant. The 6/1 shot held the late run of the Luke Comer-trained 100/1 chance Sound Of The Night, ridden by Nathan Crosse, by half a length. A length was the winning margin as the Hilary McLoughlin-trained Howyoulikethat gave Coen his second victory of the session in the eight-furlong handicap. In the colours of the Top Five Syndicate, the 7/1 chance came from well off the pace to lead inside the final furlong to score from the Ciaran Murphy-trained Walhaan.
Envoi Allen was the star of the weekend as he scored a battling success for Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal on Saturday. Stepping back up in distance to three miles, the hugely talented eight-year-old was a little sticky over his fences in the early stages of the race but he eventually warmed to his task and led after the last to beat the Willie Mullins-trained Kemboy by a length and three-parts at odds of 7/2. There are any number of options for the Cheveley Park-owned gelding with Blackmore commenting, “He saw out the three miles well, it was very promising. It was a fantastic performance by Henry to get him back to the kind of horse that he is.”
Seamie Heffernan wrapped up on the 53-winner mark for the season thanks to his win on Aidan O’Brien’s 8/11 chance Sierra Blanca in the eight-furlong maiden at Naas on Sunday. The odds-on favourite got the better of Jessica Harrington’s Sprewell by three and a quarter lengths. It was a huge weekend for Ballydoyle which landed a Breeders’ Cup treble with Meditate and Victoria Road landing significant two-year-old success with Classic winner Tuesday adding the Filly & Mare Turf to her CV.
Fairyhouse – Tuesday, November 8 (First Race 12.20pm)
Dundalk – Wednesday, November 9 (First Race 2.45pm)
Dundalk – Friday, November 11 (First Race 5.15pm)
Naas – Saturday, November 12 (First Race 11.50am)
Navan – Sunday, November 13 (First Race 11.45am)