Tellthemnuttin does the talking for Codd
The final Wexford races meeting of the summer season was a great success at Bettyville on Friday evening, with big fields in the eight races, some local success and a very good attendance in balmy conditions. And there was lots of glamour in evidence for the Monart Destination Spa-sponsored Best Dressed Lady competition.
The big Wexford winner came in the second, the €10,000 Tintern Abbey Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles. Tellthemnuttin, a bay mare trained by Willie Codd from Mayglass, came with a well-timed run under young Waterford jockey, Dylan Robinson, to take it up at the last and battled on well to the line. The horse had been well backed all day and was returned at 100/30.
Bred by Billy Devereux at Drinagh on the Rosslare road, and owned by the very keen Dublin-Limerick Heads or Harps syndicate, this was really enjoyed by all the connections as Tellthemnuttin had been first past the post at Downpatrick only to be rather harshly demoted by the stewards.
Willie Codd, brother of jockey Jamie and a member of leading Wexford horsey family, is a keen point-to-point man but has also enjoyed regular success on the track in the past 14 years. He said the winner is tough and takes to her racing well and may run in Galway this Wednesday if she gets into the mares' handicap hurdle.
Tellthemnuttin won by one and a half lengths from Teachers Pet (5/1), ridden by Luke Dempsey for J.P. McManus, with Artists Daughter (10/1) third under Brian Dalton.
Racing began with the www.wexfordraces.ie Maiden Hurdle which was clearly won by 15/8 favourite, Runyon Rattler, trained in Tinahely by Philip Rothwell and ridden by Andrew Ring. Second was Henry Howard (9/4), Ruby Walsh's only ride of the night for Willie Mullins, with third going to local horse, Whitber's Choice, ridden by Seán Flanagan for Liz Doyle.
The Monart Destination Spa Ladies' Evening handicap hurdle was divided into two divisions and the first produced a driving finish, with The Rite Article (6/1) holding on for the Kildare combination of trainer Jarlath Fahey and rider Ian McCarthy.
Just a head behind was 4/1 favourite Cadawill, under Conor Brassil for Rodger Sweeney, and third was top weight, Scenic Star (5/1), under Brian Kane for Gavin Cromwell.
The stewards had a look at the closing stages but made no change to the outcome.
Veteran Waterford trainer, John Kiely, produced a surprise in Division 2 with his 14/1 shot, Definite Surprise, under Brian Hayes, seemingly enjoying the three-mile trip and winning comfortably from Paul Nolan's local hope, Jet Mistress (4/1), under Jack Kennedy, and Milano Express (16/1), ridden by Danny Mullins for Pat Fahy.
The Ferrybank Opel Beginners' Chase was won by Mouse Morris's front-running Carole Rose (despite drifting from 3/1 out to 9/2), ridden by Mark Enright. Second, after a very good run, was Teds Island (14/1), ridden by Mark Scallan from Cleariestown for Michael John Murphy from Kilmore. Third was the gambled on Gigginstown runner, Overtures (9/2 jf), under Jack Kennedy for Gordon Elliott.
The feature race of the evening was the €14,500 Martinstown handicap chase and this went to the Willie Mullins trained King's Wharf under apprentice Niall Kelly. This opened as a hot favourite but then drifted out to 3/1 before late money brought him in to 9/4 favourite. An awkward customer, Mullins paid tribute to Wexford's John Codd who has done great work with him at home.
Second, nearly four lengths back, was Liz Doyle's Hurry Kitty (8/1) under Donagh Meyler, and the well-fancied Curragh Golan (7/2) was well back in third under Offaly rider Shane Shortall for Garrett Power of Kilkenny.
The Opel 162 handicap chase over an extended three miles was won for the second year running by eleven-years-old As De Pique (5/1) for the Navan pairing of jockey Brian Kane and trainer Gavin Cromwell, despite being off the track for almost 300 days. Second was Give Her Bach (12/1), trained by Patrick Cronin from Cork, and third was top weight Altiepix for Chris Timmons and Gordon Elliott.
The meeting ended with the customary bumper, the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders' Fund mares' race, and it went to well-backed favourite Inchiquin High (11/10) for the Kielys from Dungarvan; this was a first win on the track for trainer, Paul Stephen Kiely. Second was legend Nina Carberry on Gordon Elliott's Quinsborotemptres (8/1) and third was Risk it All, for the Camolin duo of rider James O'Sullivan and trainer Thomas James.
Thus ended racing at Bettyville until the Wexford Festival two-day meeting on the October bank holiday, Sunday 30 and Monday 31, and it was a successful and enjoyable night out. The Tote aggregate was almost doubled from last year at €161,500 (eight races), compared to €73,170 (seven races).
In the glamour stakes, the Monart Destination Spa best dressed lady winner was Melissa Tyndall from Gorey, girlfriend of Wexford star hurler, Conor McDonald. She was supporting local business with her dress coming from Ruby Rouge in Gorey.
Mark Browne from Monart presented the prizes and the event was judged by Keith Jordan from Westgate Design, Wexford.