Doyle on the double
Crossabeg trainer has a good week
It was a low-key week in Irish racing after all the excitement of the big-money champions' weekend, but Crossabeg-based Liz Doyle did send out winners in successive days in two very different kinds of races. A €1 double would have paid €168, and €440 if you had backed them in the morning.
Glamorus Nellie (20/1) defied all expectations to get up in fighting style in a two and a half mile handicap hurdle at Clonmel on Thursday evening, under a strong ride from rising young apprentice, Darragh O'Keeffe.
She had not impressed very much in her previous two handicap outings but Doyle believes the application of blinkers made a big difference to her attitude this time. Owner Willie Cullen, a former trainer himself, was thrilled and said the win was 'worth a Gold Cup to me!'.
The next night Liz followed up with a rare enough runner on the all-weather at Dundalk with a well -backed winner, My Lark (20/1 in the morning, she opened at 12s in the ring and went off at 7s), under seven-pound claimer Alan Persse for owner/breeder, Edward Power.
My Lark was third of 14 runners in her handicap debut at Dundalk on August 17 over six furlongs which indicated some ability.
She seemed to relish the extra couple of furlongs, picked it up inside the final furlong, and stayed on well.
This was bridging a five and a half year gap as her previous Dundalk winner as far as I can see was Doonard Prince, who was a regular there in late 2012 and struck paydirt on January 4, 2013.
Willie Martin from Clonhaston, Enniscorthy, had a nice winner at Navan on Sunday in Rolanna (backed from 10/1 in the morning into 5/1 at the off) in the two miles six furlongs hurdle, with Adam Short doing the steering for the Kelly Cloney Partnership. Jonathan Moore was third on Noel Meade's Major Destination (10/1).
Martin had warmed her up for this with a trip to Ffos Las in Wales a week earlier where she was second in a one and a half mile flat race.
Rolanna had already won twice this season, a maiden hurdle at Cork in August and a flat race over two miles at Clonmel in May, giving her three wins and a second in her last four outings.
Colin Bowe's Rueben James (20/1) was second under Bryan Cooper in the Beginners' Chase, behind hotshot Its All Guesswork (4/5f).
Earlier in the week, Jamie Codd won the mares' bumper at Galway on Monday with Best of Dubai (13/8) for Gordon Elliott, and in Britain that same afternoon Tom O'Brien had a hurdles and chase favourites' double at Hexham with Vivant (13/8) for Tom Lacey, and Rebel Yeats (5/4) for Ian Williams. He won on Push The Tempo (5/2) at Newton Abbot on Friday.
On the flat, Aidan O'Brien kept up his strike rate with seven winners, most of which would not have enriched punters very much - Sovereign (8/15) at Galway on Tuesday; All the Kings Men (4/7) and Old Glory (6/4) at Naas on Wednesday, Astronomer (1/5) at Dundalk, and a treble in the first three races at Gowran on Saturday with Pink Dogwood (4/6), Circus Maximus (8/13) and Broadway (8/1).