Liz among the winners
Crossabeg trainer Liz Doyle was among the winners at Limerick on Friday evening courtesy of Annie Irish (12/1) who landed the Ballyduane Stud Handicap in thrilling fashion.
Having finished third at Roscommon last time when an unconsidered 40-1 outsider, Annie Irish confirmed the promise of that display as she stormed down the outside under Ross Coakley to beat Apache Gold by half-a-length. Owner Wilf Goddard also bred Annie Irish.
Bree trainer Pat Cloke, who had his first winner on the track at Down Royal on St. Patrick's Day, returned to the scene of his maiden success and plundered again when Bellgrove (3/1) landed the At The Races Beginners' Chase, also on Friday.
New Ross pilot Seán Flanagan was on board, as he finished a good five-and-a-half-length winner. 'He jumped all the way. He was left in front and ran around a bit but he's clever and careful,' Flanagan said afterwards.
Taghmon jockey Adam O'Neill continued his recent run of good form with another winner on board Supreme Vic (16/1) for trainer Norman Lee in the At The Races Handicap Hurdle at Gowran Park on Saturday.
Irish trainers enjoyed another successful Royal Ascot when saddling eight winners over the five-day festival. Aidan O'Brien brought his personal tally to 48 winners and emerged as the leading trainer at the meeting for the sixth time, while there was also notable success for Dermot Weld, David Wachman and Willie Mullins.
Finally, Barry Geraghty is reportedly set to replace Tony McCoy as retained rider to owner J.P. McManus. McManus' racing manager Frank Berry is quoted as hoping that Geraghty will be confirmed as McCoy's replacement in the coming days.
Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming week: Ballinrobe, Tuesday (today), June 23 (first race 5.40 p.m.); Naas, Wednesday, June 24 (first race 6 p.m.); Leopardstown, Thursday, June 25 (first race 5.50 p.m.); Curragh, Friday, June 26 (first race 5.25 p.m.); Curragh, Saturday, June 27 (first race 3 p.m.), and Curragh, Sunday, June 28 (first race 2.15 p.m.).