O’Brien seals second grade one win
Tom O'Brien from Adamstown got the second grade one winner of his career on Saturday at Sandown in the £45,000 Tolworth Novices Hurdle, with Finian's Oscar (11/10 f) scoring impressively for the red-hot Colin Tizzard, on a day when two Wexford horses were in the big money.
Finian's Oscar was bred in Taghmon by Richard and Martin O'Keeffe.
He was trained by Denis Murphy, The Ballagh, to win his point-to-point away up in Portrush just in late October and was bought at the sales for Alan Potts for £250,000.
This looks like it might be a good investment.
O'Brien had earlier finished second in the £25,000 handicap chase on Bold Henry for Philip Hobbs, behind the yard's favourite, Garde La Victoire, ridden by Richard Johnson.
Daryl Jacob got second in the £22,000 Listed mares' hurdle on Midnight Jazz (5/1) for Ben Case, behind Lifeboat Mona (11/4 jf) for Paul Nicholls in the 12.45.
This was three-in-a-row for 'Mona' which has won six from nine starts in England.
The seven-year-old winner was picked up as a youngster by Michael Murphy from Redbridge Stables in Duncormick for €600. He was trained by Michael's wife, Ashleigh, to win his point-to-point at Fairyhouse in May, 2014, under Gary Murphy from Ballycullane before being sold on privately.
Daryl Jacob then drove over one hundred miles to Wincanton to ride in the last two races there and it was well worthwhile.
He was second in the 3.15 there on Fortunate George (7/1) for Emma Lavelle in the £15,000 handicap hurdle, and went one better in the concluding novice hurdle on Catamaran Du Seuil (5/2 jf) for Dr. Richard Newland.
Second in the latter was Anchor Man for Paul Nicholls, another former tenant of Michael Murphy's Duncormick yard, which went over to the British champion trainer after a good run at Lingstown.
Four of Murphy's former point-to-pointers are now in the Nicholls yard, including the latest recruit, Ifyousayrun, a Mahler mare, which fetched good money at the pre-Christmas Cheltenham sale after winning a four-year-old maiden at the Wexford Hunt's Ballinaboola meeting in November.
Jacob was on the road again on Sunday to Chepstow where he picked up a win in the fog on Constantine Bay (1/1) for Nicky Henderson.
Pat McDonald from Taghmon had been having a quiet time of it in Britain over the Christmas period, but he came back among the winners with a bang in the past week, beginning with L'inganno Felice (4/1) for Ian Jardine at Newcastle on Wednesday in a driving finish.
He then had three short-priced winners at three different venues in less than 24 hours.
On Friday he won the 3.30 at Kempton on Blues Master (4/9f) for Mark Johnston. He then drove nearly 140 miles up the M40 to Wolverhampton for their 7.45 where he scored for Jardine again on Absolute Blast (4/5f).
The treble was completed to cap an excellent week in the 12.05 at Lingfield on Saturday aboard Morning Suit (5/4f), again for Johnston.