'Sarah Joyce' in flying form
Clonmel win for 9-2 shot
Kiltealy trainer Colin Bowe was off the mark early at Clonmel on Thursday evening as he won the opening Ancient East Mares Maiden Hurdle with 'Sarah Joyce'.
Having finished second at Downpatrick on her previous start, 9-2 shot 'Sarah Joyce' went one better under an aggressive ride from Mark Walsh who had her prominent throughout and she held on by half-a-length from 'Emma Beag'.
New Ross rider Sean Flanagan struck once again at Downpatrick on Friday as he got the Colin McBratney-trained 'Drumhart' up on the line to win the 2m2f handicap hurdle at odds of 8/1.
For the second successive year, 'Don Cossack' has been confirmed as the top-rated staying chaser in Britain and Ireland following the publication of the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications. Gordon Elliott's Cheltenham Gold Cup hero has been awarded a mark of 177, which puts him on a par with the likes of 'Kicking King' and triple winner 'Best Mate' and represents a 2lb higher rating than 12 months ago.
'Sprinter Sacre' was named the top two-miler following his remarkable comeback which saw him win a second Queen Mother Champion Chase, three years after his first, as well as landing the Celebration Chase at Sandown. His rating of 175 is 6lb higher than that awarded to the best two-mile novice chaser 'Douvan'.
The top chaser over the intermediate trip of two and a half miles is 'Vautour', with the ill-fated 'Arzal' sharing the novice equivalent with 'Black Hercules'.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned duo of 'No More Heroes' and 'Rule The World' shared top-billing in the three-mile-plus novice chase division on a mark of 159.
However, 'No More Heroes' sadly suffered a fatal injury when finishing fourth in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, while Grand National hero 'Rule The World' has been retired.
'Faugheen', who missed the second half of the season, leads the way in the two-mile hurdle division on 176, with Champion Hurdle winner 'Annie Power' on 166. 'Thistlecrack's' dominance in the two-and-a-half-mile-plus division earned him a rating of 174, equal to that of 'Big Buck's' while 'Altior' and 'Yorkhill' claimed the novice hurdlers crowns.
Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming week:
Gowran Park, Wednesday May 25 (first race 6.00pm); Tipperary, Thursday May 26 (first race 5.40pm); Down Royal, Friday May 27 (first race 5.35pm); Navan, Saturday May 28 (first race 1.55pm) and Naas, Sunday May 29 (first race 2.05pm).