Another big pay day at Fairyhouse
Sean Flanagan had another big pay day on the high class Fairyhouse card on Sunday when he won the €100,000 Bar One Grade A handicap hurdle on Noel Meade's Waxie's Dargle (16/1) for J.P. McManus.
He was a bit lucky as another McManus horse, favourite Campeador, was coming to win the race when he fell at the last under Barry Geraghty, bringing down yet another J.P. horse, All the Answers.
Flanagan was mounting his challenge at the time; he avoided the trouble with just minor interference and he rode out a driving finish to win by three parts of a length.
At day one at the Fairyhouse meeting on Saturday, Flanagan completed a three-timer for Noel Meade's Bel Ami De Sivola (9/4) in the €16,000 novice hurdle. The Palace East man is enjoying a great season with Meade and is sixth in the jockeys' table on 29 winners.
It's well over three years since Balynaclash Warrior registered his previous win, at the Listowel festival in 2013, having been out injured for 27 months.
Patience was rewarded in the Templemore Handicap Hurdle at Thurles on Thursday for Screen, Curracloe, trainer, Richie Rath, and owner Ger Corrigan when he won under a well-judged J.J. Slevin ride.
He had heralded his return to form with a couple of recent placed runs at Cork.
Mark Walsh looked all over a winner on favourite, Neddyvaughan, but Slevin waited to the last possible second before pouncing on the Warrior (12/1), and they battled to a length and a half win.
This was Rath's second win in recent weeks as he and Slevin also won with 33/1 shot, Fayonagh, at Naas for a Rosslare area syndicate.
Liz Doyle's horses are in good nick right now and she followed up the previous Sunday's point-to-point win with a couple of good seconds in maiden hurdles to odds-on Ruby Walsh/Willie Mullins runners - La Bella Vida at a massive 66/1 in Thurles, and Justmemyselfandi (10/1) at Limerick on Friday.
Daryl Jacob is the Wexfordman to follow in England at the moment. He followed up last Saturday's treble at Newcastle with doubles on Monday at Plumpton on two hot favourites, and on Tuesday at Lingfield.
He is very much in demand with the winners being saddled by Nicky Henderson, Dr. Richard Newland, Charlie Mann and Emma Lavelle.
He had a winner and two seconds at the first big meeting of the season at Aintree on Saturday. He won well on Call Me Vic (7/1) for Tom George, and took second aboard Hunters Hoof (13/2) for Henderson and Seefood (8/1) for D. Newland. Not a bad day's work.
Tom O'Brien also had a winning favourite at Lingfield, Appy Days, and he got a winner on the high-profile Tingle Creek card at Sandown, scoring on Tullow Tonic (7/2f).
Both Jacob and O'Brien are in the top ten in the British jockeys' table, both just short of their half century of winners.
Jonathan Moore got on the board for the week at Leicester on Thursday on Dalaki (11/8f) for Des Donovan.
Roadie Joe, the horse owned by Billy Bates from Kilmore Quay that I featured last week, was withdrawn at the start at Ludlow last Monday after picking up a knock. He was well fancied in the race; watch out for his re-appearance.
On the flat, Pat McDonald (Taghmon) kept things ticking over on the all-weather at Newcastle on Tuesday on Mashan Star (2/1f) for Mark Johnston.
For five years Jim Bolger, an avid Wexford hurling fan as well as being a brilliant horseman, has been organising a celebrity Hurling For Cancer Research match between big names from the racing and the hurling worlds, managed by Bolger and jockey Davy Russell.
This year's match in August raised €138,000, bringing the overall total for the five years to an astonishing €542,000.
Well done to Bolger and his main accomplice, Russell, for a marvellous effort. Details for next year's game are already finalised - it takes place at St. Conleth's Park, Newbridge, on August 15. Don't forget to mark it in your new diaries and calendars.