Sunday 15 September 2019

Carberry has to call it quits

Some interesting Wexford links

Solwhit and Paul Carberry winning at Cheltenham in 2013
Solwhit and Paul Carberry winning at Cheltenham in 2013
Noel Dooly

Horse racing by Pegasus

Injury finally forced jockey Paul Carberry to hang up his boots during the week at 42 years of age, ending a career that extended over 26 years and included many major victories, including a Grand National on his father's horse, Bobbyjo, in 1999 and 14 wins at the Cheltenham Festival.

It is interesting that this gifted, colourful and sometimes controversial rider should have bookended his career with Wexford trainers. He began as an apprentice to Jim Bolger (like so many others who went on to success) and his first winner was on the flat on Bolger's Petronelli at Leopardstown on August 6, 1990.

His last winner was at day one of the Listowel Festival last year (on September 13) on board Jansboy, trained by Noel Dooly of Courtnacuddy. Four days later he broke his left leg in a fall from Noel Meade's Rich Coast and this turned out to be his final ride.

Probably his most significant win at the Cheltenham Festival was his second last in 2013 when he partnered Solwhit to victory in the World Hurdle, deputising for Davy Russell who was injured a day earlier. The prolific Solwhit was owned by the Wexford Top of the Hill syndicate and trained by Charles Byrnes. I was fortunate to be there on one of the great Wexford days at the famous Festival.

Carberry is a member of a racing dynasty, and a gifted horseman. His 'creeping and waiting' tactics in races looked great when they worked, which they usually did, but could be very frustrating when he came up just short.

He had a reputation in his early years as a bit of a party animal and some of his exploits are the stuff of legend. He has settled in recent years and the best of luck to him, his wife, Rachael, and his little girl, Kasey Lou. No doubt horses will still be a large part of their future.

The four-day festival at Tramore began on Thursday with a couple of Wexford winners, one of them provided by the same Noel Dooly who gave Carberry his last winner. His Coolfighter took the novice hurdle ridden by David Splaine, completing a hurdles three-timer having won in June at Gowran and Wexford.

J.J. Slevin from Kiltrea, Enniscorthy, steered home Craig Star for Seán Thomas Doyle (Ballindaggin) in the handicap hurdle, being backed in from 9/2 to 3/1.

On Friday, Jamie Codd continued his recent good run in bumpers when cruising home on Be My Dan for David O'Brien from Piltown, with Johnny Slevin second on Ask Susan (10/1). Be My Dan could be bound for a Listowel festival bumper.

It was an all-flat card on Saturday but Noel Dooly brought up a double for the week with Rock Emperor in the one and a half miles handicap under seven pound claimer, David Lenihan. Dooly was delighted with his horse which he revealed he had bought for 'a couple of grand' on Done Deal.

The Tramore Festival closed on Sunday and Colin Bowe (Kiltealy) and jockey Mikey Fogarty (Cleariestown) won the opening maiden hurdle with Timmone (backed in from 20/1 to 9/1), winning by the minimum nose from Seán Flanagan on Double Windsor.

Jim Bolger seems to love the Thursday night meetings at Leopardstown, scoring four-timers twice in recent weeks, and he finished the series with a win for Tribal Beat (9/1) in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes. He and jockey Kevin Manning made it a double with McGuigan (5/1) in the three-year-old plus handicap.

In England it was a good week for Enniscorthy's Pat Dobbs. On Wednesday, he scored a hat-trick on the Polytrack at Kempton with Soldier's Girl (4/5), Northern Thunder (3/1) and Gabster (7/1). He followed up with a double at Salisbury on Thursday on Gravity Wave (2/1) by a short head for Sylvester Kirk, and Seafarer (6/4f).

Tom O'Brien from Adamtown had three winners - on Karma for in a handicap hurdle at Newtown Abbott, Show's Over in a novice chase at Stratford on Thursday, and on No Ceiling (6/1) in the closer at Southwell on Sunday.

There were wins for Jimmy Fortune from Ferns on odds-on Shipping Forecast at Chepstow; for Pat McDonald from Taghmon on Age of Elegance (5/1) at Beverley, and for Daryl Jacob in the £22,500 featured handicap chase at Southwell on Sunday on board Ballykan (7/2).

Fixtures for the week ahead: Tuesday, Tipperary; Wednesday to Saturday, Killarney; Friday, Kilbeggan; Saturday and Sunday, Curragh.

Wexford People