Slevin's super day
Jockey's first win as professional
Monday last was a good day for Wexford racing connections with two wins at both Downpatrick and Roscommon, and it was a specially good day for jockey JJ Slevin from Kiltrea, Caim, and for the Fogarty family from Cleariestown.
JJ (James Joseph) Slevin, made a name for himself in point to points in the past five years but recently turned professional and in the past week he had his first two winners in what could be an exciting career in the paid ranks, both for trainer Sean Thomas Doyle from Ballindaggin.
In the mixed meeting at Roscommon on Monday, JJ was involved in a dead-heat for first with Craig Star (7/2) in the handicap hurdle, sharing it with Lasocar and David Mullins.
He had his first outright winner at Kilbeggan on Friday night when outstaying the field on Doyle's Crosshue Boy (6/1) in the handicap hurdle for owner Niall Heffernan from Blackwater.
He had made his pro debut aboard this horse at Bellewstown a few weeks ago.
JJ has ridden 34 point to point winners, many of them for his father Shay. He spent last season riding as an amateur in Britain for top trainer, Nigel Twiston Davies, scoring some high profile winners but he is concentrating on the home front now.
He is a nephew of Ballydoyle maestro, Aidan O'Brien, and is doing a lot of work with his cousin, Aidan's son Joseph, at Piltown, as well as helping out with the horses at home in Kiltrea. His brother Mark is also a regular Points rider.
In the featured Budweiser Hurdle at Roscommon, Sean Flanagan rode a fine race for a comfortable win on Noel Meade's Snow Falcon.
The Fogarty family hit the jackpot at Downpatrick in the handicap hurdle when winning with Tornado Watch at 13/8 favourite. The horse was trained by Jonathan Fogarty, ridden by his brother Mikey and owned by their mother, Mary Frances.
The bare facts do not tell the whole story. The horse was available at 25/1 in the morning and a sustained gamble saw the seven year old chestnut gelding being sent off hot favourite, a ranking he fully justified.
Jonathan Fogarty has been training and running an all-round bloodstock establishment at Gaynestown Stud, Cleariestown, for the past four years, but the place, and horses, have been in the family for generations and he learned much when he was young by helping out his grandfather, John Cogley.
His brother Mikey was a gifted point to point and amateur rider before turning pro in 2013 and he has certainly been at home in the top flight. He has been in good form in recent weeks with wins at Downpatrick, Down Royal, Ballinrobe and Tramore.
A second Wexford winner on the Downpatrick card was the ultra consistent Coolfighter, trained by Noel Dooly at Davidstown; he got up by a nose under regular partner, David Splaine, to pip Davy Russell and record his fourth win since his run began at Wexford in mid-June.
On that same Monday, Jamie Codd had an unusual winner - the point-to-point champion and bumper star went to Epsom in England for one ride over one mile four furlongs on the flat and duly obliged on JJ Quinn's Hubertus (3/1f).
Codd also won the bumper at Kilbeggan on Friday night on Steel Bob (11/4) for Fermoy trainer, Patrick Crowley, maintaining his great run this summer.
In a quiet enough week for Wexford connections in Britain, Daryl Jacob won on Pawnstar (10/3) at Worcester on Tuesday for Emma Lavelle; and the partnership also won the featured handicap hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday with Crimson Ark (3/1), Jacob's only ride of the day.
Pat McDonald from Taghmon was in the good priced winners again - he shocked the field on 33/1 outsider Haworth in a 6f maiden at Newcastle on Friday and followed up next day with 11/1 winner, Market Choice, for Michael Dods at Thirsk.
Jimmy Quinn from New Ross won on Miss Icon (3/1) at Lingfield on Weds.
Racing in Ireland this week: Tues, Galway; Weds, Sligo; Thurs, Clonmel; Fri, Down Royal; Sat., Leopardstown, and Sun, Curragh for Irish champions weekend; Sun., start of 7-day Listowel festival.