First for Flanagan

Clonroche jockey crowns great season

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Disko, with Seán Flanagan up, on their way to winning the Flogas Novice Steeplechase at Leopardstown on Sunday
Disko, with Seán Flanagan up, on their way to winning the Flogas Novice Steeplechase at Leopardstown on Sunday

Sean Flanagan (Palace East, Clonroche) crowned what has been a great season so far for him when he rode the first grade 1 winner of his career at Leopardstown on Sunday when taking the €85,000 Flogas Novice Chase on Disko, trained by Noel Meade for Gigginstown.

It was an excellent ride by Flanagan. He got the horse into a great rhythm and jumped his rivals silly. Disko (6/1) galloped on well to the line to win by nearly two lengths from Our Duke under Robbie Power.

Noel Meade said: 'It was the perfect ride. He jumped great for Seán and did everything right'. Paddy Power cut Disko from 16/1 into 8/1 for the JLT Chase at Cheltenham. This was Seán's 38th win of the season and he is in seventh place in the jockeys' championship.

There was some Wexford interest in the finish of the €150,000 Stan James Irish Gold Cup; it was won by Sizing John for Jessica Harrington and was ridden by Robbie Power, son of Fethard-on-Sea native, Con Power, former Irish showjumping star.

Second was Empire of Dirt, now trained by Gordon Elliott but he was in the care of Killenagh, Ballycanew, trainer Colm Murphy until his retirement last year, having given him his last winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

Earlier in the week, Paddy Cloke from Bree had a good run in the three-mile handicap chase at Thurles when Flysini (backed from 14/1 into 10s) was a clear second under Seán Flanagan.

At Naas on Saturday there were a couple of noteworthy runs. Paul Nolan's Solita (16/1) under Davy Russell in the featured €32,500 Opera Hat mares'chase, looked like a winner up to the last but could not respond on the run-in to Joseph O'Brien's Slowmotion (9/4).

Seamus Neville (Bridgetown) came very close to following up on last week's win with Ask Nile when his Cahirconree (7/1) seemed to have the Martinstown Opportunity handicap hurdle won when leading by three lengths at the last under Brendan Foley, but they were headed close home by the heavily-backed Dylrow (9/1 into 7/2) for Robbie Hennessy. It was a very brave effort.

In Britain it was a quiet week for Wexford connections. Daryl Jacob made the journey to Hereford on Tuesday for one ride in the opening juvenile hurdle and duly obliged by five lengths on a very short-priced Domperignon Du Lys (1/4).

On Thursday Jacob made trip to Huntingdon for two rides.

Aboard hot-shot, Messire Des Obeaux (10/11), for Alan King he was headed near the line and lost by a neck.

He hung around for over two hours to ride Majestic Moll (6/4f) for Emma Lavelle in the bumper but this time he was headed right on the line by Skewiff (8/1). It was just one of those days for the Davidstown man.

Tom O'Brien rode what will surely be the shortest-priced winner of his career on Sunday at Exeter when he won on Colin Tizzard's proposed Cheltenham hot pot, Finian's Oscar, at 16/1 on - you put down €16 to win one!

He doubled up later on a chance ride for Philip Hobbs on Gala Ball (10/11).

Wexford People

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