Friday 19 January 2018

Experimental day at Bettyville

A decision will be made after racing at Wexford Racecourse this evening (Tuesday), once the evidence from the running of today's trial left-handed card is presented.

Course manager Michael Murphy and his team have decided to seize the moment, and settle a discussion that has been ongoing for the past 50 years.

'There are varied opinions as to whether Wexford would be better running left- or right-handed and now is the prime time to find out whether a change in direction will work or not,' he said.

'We have the track and we have the land and whereas we used to have seven furlongs, we now have a bit more than one mile two. A lot of riders, trainers, owners and spectators have raised the point over the years.

'We will meet with the riders after racing and take their advice on what is the best thing to do.'

Racing at Bettyville is off at 2.25 p.m. when the Loch Garman Maiden Hurdle gets under way. It is a seven-race National Hunt card with the last race taking place at 5.30 p.m. The final analysis should be most interesting.

Master trainer and Oylegate man Jim Bolger enjoyed a fine Sunday at the Curragh with an 840/1 treble that included both the Group 3 Gladness Stakes and the Listed Alleged Stakes.

Mimicking took the opening maiden for juveniles in good style on debut for Bolger and Godolphin, and a trip to Royal Ascot may be on the cards now for the well-bred daughter of Invincible Spirit.

Kevin Manning, who was on board all three winners for Bolger, was seen at his best when booting 50/1 shot Flight Risk home to win the Gladness Stakes before leading home a one-two for the Bolger team aboard Parish Hall in the Alleged Stakes.

Clonroche man Aidan O'Brien sent out newcomer Sandro Botticelli to take the final race in good style under Seamus Heffernan.

Pat O'Donovan, assistant trainer in the Bolger yard, has won the Irish Racing Excellence Award at the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards sponsored by Godolphin.

Pat, who was also the winner of the Rider/Groom award, was selected by the judging panel from among five finalists who were all individual category winners.

Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming days: Wexford (today, first off at 2.25 p.m.); Fairyhouse, Wednesday, April 22; Tipperary, Thursday, April 23; Dundalk, Friday, April 24; Kilbeggan, Friday, April 24; Limerick, Saturday, April 25, and Gowran Park, Sunday, April 26.

Wexford People

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