Slevin has a good day at Gowran
J.J. Slevin enjoyed a good day on very heavy going at Gowran Park on Friday, with a winner for an unlikely hurdles owner, Michael Tabor of the famed Coolmore operation, and a close-up second for his father, Shea. Otherwise, it was a quiet week for Wexford connections at home and in Britain
Tabor's West Coast Time (15/8f) is trained by Joseph O'Brien and Slevin had a comfortable win for his first cousin, beating Robbie Power on Beyond The Law (5/1) by three and a quarter lengths. Tabor is more usually associated with the multi-million euro flat thoroughbreds trained by Joseph's father, Aidan.
Slevin was slightly unlucky not to make it a double on his dad's Ash Rowe (16/1) in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle when he was second behind the gambled on Ballymadun (9/1 from 33s in the morning) under Conor Maxwell. Slevin was only three parts of a length behind and was checked on the run-in when the winner edged right.
At Roscommon on Monday there was limited Wexford success with Slevin, Jonathan Moore and Jamie Codd all travelling for one ride each. Codd was second once again behind an odds-on Nina Carberry in the bumper, and Slevin took third on Henry De Bromhead's Statistical (16/1) for Gigginstown.
It was a case of 'seconditis' at barely raceable Sligo on Wednesday. Colin Bowe took the silver medal in the opening beginners' chase with Golden Flowerpower (2/1), and Seán Flanagan was second in the other beginners' chase; he tried to make all on La Bella Vida (5/2) for Liz Doyle before being collared by Danny Mullins on Logical Song (1/1f).
There was a high quality mixed card at Tipperary on Sunday and the undoubted highlight was the impressive win by the remarkable Jezki (6/1) for Jessica Harrington in the Grade 3 Istabraq Hurdle. He failed to spark last year but he quelled all doubts about his future here.
Best Wexford run was by Seamus Neville's (Bridgetown) Ask Nile (16/1) to take second under Brian Hayes in the Grade 3 Like a Butterfly novice chase; though well beaten by the classy Rathvinden, Ask Nile is sure to give a few good days to the Nevilles.
In Britain there were three Wexford jockeys involved in a handicap at Goodwood on Wednesday - Jimmy Quinn was winner on Lunar Jet (11/2), ahead of Jimmy Fortune on Zamperini (12/1), with Pat Dobbs unplaced. Quinn is having a good run. He and Fortune moved on to Kempton that evening, without success
Daryl Jacob and Tom O'Brien travelled to Perth for one jumps ride each on Thursday. Jacob ran away with the opening small-field three-mile hurdle on Calett Mad (2/5f) for Nigel Twiston Davies, while O'Brien was third in the concluding handicap hurdle on Nova Dawn (10/1) behind Mac n Cheese (7/4f).
Pat McDonald finally got off the mark for the week when scoring for Karl Burke at Pontefract on Unwritten (4/1), getting up by just a head. Pat Dobbs also scored when he moved on from Newmarket for another single ride at Chelmsford that evening, and Our Mullion (9/2) obliged by a neck for Jim Best.
Adamstown's Jonathan Moore was re-united with Welsh trainer, Rebecca Curtis, at Worcester on Friday but was out of luck, getting fourth on one of them.
The point-to-point meeting at Toomebridge, Co. Antrim, on Saturday has been called off, and the season now opens on Sunday at the Westmeath Hunt meeting at Castletowngeoghegan.