Racing in Bettyville this Friday
National Hunt racing returns to Bettyville this Friday with the first race due off at 5.50 p.m.
The firstname.lastname@example.org Mares' Maiden Hurdle gets the action under way, and course manager Michael Murphy is looking forward to a continuation of the high quality action that racegoers have enjoyed at the track so far this year.
The €14,500 two-mile Stena Line Horizon Steeplechase is the feature event of the evening, admission is €12 and a fun night out is guaranteed.
Diamondsandrubies came out on top in a thrilling finish to the Group 1 Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, the Aidan O'Brien-trained 8/1 shot held off the late run of David Wachman's Legatissimo with British raider Ribbons a close third.
O'Brien and Heffernan got a second winner in the Group 3 Curragh Cup. The pair struck with Bondi Beach who edged out stable companion Order Of St George in the 14-furlong event in which Forgotten Rules, the 8/13 favourite, could only finish fourth.
Jack Hobbs became the first horse trained in Britain to win the Irish Derby since Commander In Chief in 1993 when easily scoring in the Dubai Duty Free-sponsored event at the Curragh on Saturday.
Runner-up in the Epsom Derby, John Gosden's star won by five lengths from Storm The Stars with Aidan O'Brien's Giovanni Canaletto the best of the home team in third place. O'Brien had earlier enjoyed better luck when the Ryan Moore-ridden Painted Cliffs took the Group 2 Railway Stakes.
Oylegate's Jim Bolger enjoyed a double, sharing both winners with Kevin Manning, at the Curragh on Friday. The pair took the ten furlongs handicap with Algonquin and followed up when the promising Morning Mix ran away with the maiden over the same distance.
Aidan O'Brien and Seamie Heffernan were on the mark with Alice Springs in the seven furlongs fillies' maiden.
O'Brien and Colm O'Donoghue were also the big winners at Naas on Wednesday evening where they landed the Listed Naas Oaks Trial with Outstanding. One of two Ballydoyle runners in the race, the 7/1 chance made most of the running and comfortably saw off Stellar Glow.
New Ross jockey, Donagh O'Connor, who rode the first winner of his career at the track last August, gained his eighth success when partnering the Damian English-trained Ask Dad in the six furlongs handicap.
Former Irish champion jockey Barry Geraghty is to replace Tony McCoy in the role of retained rider for leading owner J.P. McManus. At 35 years of age, Geraghty has been closely linked with British trainer Nicky Henderson since 2008 and has been Irish champion jockey on two previous occasions, in the 1999-2000 season and again in 2003-2004.
He has not ridden since taking a fall at Downpatrick in March but when he returns he can look forward to renewing his association with the likes of Jezki and will also be teaming up with horses such as Gilgamboa, Carlingford Lough, Free Expression and Uxizandre. Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming week: Gowran Park, Tuesday, June 30 (first race 5.50 p.m.); Fairyhouse, Wednesday, July 1 (first race 5.55 p.m.); Tipperary, Thursday, July 2 (first race 5.55 p.m.); Bellewstown, Thursday, July 2 (first race 5.05 p.m.); Bellewstown, Friday, July 3 (first race 5.10 p.m.); Wexford, Friday, July 3 (first race 5.50 p.m.); Bellewstown, Saturday, July 4 (first race 4.50 p.m.); Fairyhouse, Sunday, July 5 (first race 2.25 p.m.); Limerick, Sunday, July 5 (first race 2.05 p.m.).