Super weekend for Doyle brothers
Wexford trainers captured all three of Sunday's lucrative four-year-old maidens, at Lingstown, Cork and Tipperary to again emphasise their current dominance of the sport, and three of the Doyle brothers from Monbeg, Ballindaggin, were in the winners' enclosure.
It was a great weekend also for Barry O'Neill who had five winners over two days to extend his lead at the head of the riders' championship. He was unstoppable at Lingstown where he scored a four-timer (see separate report).
Action began at Kirkistown, Co. Down, on Saturday and a very small number of Wexford horses made the trip, but the status quo was maintained in the jockeys' title race as the big three - Barry O'Neill, Jamie Codd and Derek O'Connor - all had a winner each.
Codd's win came on Sizing Rome for Jim Dreaper in the five-year-old geldings' maiden, ahead of O'Neill on Colin Bowe's Alone No More.
After a couple of frustrating seconds, O'Neill scored in the last on Tony Martin's debutant, Danboru, while O'Connor won the first, the four-year-old maiden, on Colin McKeever's Temple Park.
There were just 35 runners at the Premier Hunt meeting at Horse and Jockey in Tipperary, and the Wexford presence was small. However, 17 years old Gearóid Doyle cruised to victory in the four-year-old maiden on his brother, Donnchadh's, Cracking Destiny (Dubai Detination-Cracking Gale).
It was the youngster's fourth winner in his first season and he made it all. In contrast, Donnchadh is on the verge of a major milestone; he is now just one short of his 100-winner mark, after just seven seasons training. He was joint Irish champion with Colin Bowe two years ago.
At Kilworth in Cork, Seán Thomas Doyle emulated his brothers, Donnchadh and Gearóid, by winning the four-year-old maiden with Speak Easy (Beneficial-For Bill), under local rider, Richie Harding.
A notable feature here was a blank day for many times champion rider, Derek O'Connor.
In the riders' championship Barry O'Neill is now on 35, Jamie Codd on 28, and O'Connor on 24. Rob James is fifth on 24.
Racing next weekend is at Maralin, Co. Down, on Saturday, and on Sunday at Dromahane in Cork, The Pigeons near Athlone, and the North Kilkenny Hunt at Ballyragget.