Flanagan strikes oil for Gigginstown
Biggest Wexford win of the week went to Seán Flanagan in the €50,000 Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase on Thursday as he advertised his talents when steering home Alpha Des Obeaux (7/1) for Mouse Morris and Gigginstown.
He was ahead of another pair of more fancied Gigginstown runners, A Toi Phil, second at 3/1 for Jack Kennedy, and Balko Des Flos (11/10f) under Davy Russell.
It was Flanagan's first time to ride the horse and he secured its first win for over a year. Earlier he had been beaten by just half a length on 50/1 shot, Chris's Dream, for Eugene O'Sullivan.
At Punchestown on Sunday veteran Benny Walsh from Cleariestown won the Risk of Thunder banks race with Mtada Supreme (10/1) for Peter Maher, holding on by a nose from hot-shot Josie's Orders (1/2f), trained by banks specialist, Enda Bolger.
The horse was bred by Michael Bates from Kilmore and Maher bought him on Benny's recommendation.
Seán Flanagan took second in the €44.5 thousand Grade 2 Florida Pearl novice chase on Shattered Love (11/4) for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown, less than a length behind Robbie Power on Jury Duty, an Elliott-trained syndicate horse.
J.J. Slevin (Caim) showed his skill at Fairyhouse on Tuesday when giving a good ride to Erkindale Lady (14/1) to get him home by a head from the favourite, Dinnie's Vinnie. Third here was Tomcoole Lad for Donal Doyle from Barntown, a recent Galway winner.
Slevin got a taste of the Cheltenham atmosphere on Saturday when riding a couple for his first cousin, Joseph O'Brien.
He gave a good ride to Mischievous Max (14/1) to take second in the £20,000 Class 3 handicap hurdle.
It was back home to Cork for Slevin on Sunday and he scored a fine double. He won the opening 24-runner maiden hurdle for O' Brien with 10/1 outsider, Us and Them, and he doubled up in the Adare Manor Opportunity handicap hurdle on Conna Cross (9/4f) for Jimmy Mangan.
Aidan O'Brien is going through a quiet time as the all-weather at Dundalk provides the only flat racing opportunities but that does not stop him picking up the top prizes on offer - he won the €25,000 handicap there on Friday night with Clear Skies (4/1) under Wayne Lordan.
Finian's Oscar was bred by Richard O'Keeffe (Taghmon) and after being trained by Denis Murphy (The Ballagh) to win his point-to-point under Jamie Codd, he was sold at the Tattersalls Cheltenham November sales last year for a princely £250,000, going to trainer Colin Tizzard for Alan Potts.
The horse has turned into one of the most exciting prospects in racing, his six wins including two Grade 1 hurdles.
Exactly a year later he confirmed his potential back at Cheltenham on Friday to win his second chase under Bryan Cooper, just three days after the death of his owner. His progress will be keenly followed by many in Wexford this season.
Jimmy Quinn (New Ross) on the flat and Daryl Jacob (Davidstown) over jumps began the week well on Monday. Jacob had two rides at Kempton and won on Way Back Then (9/2) by three parts of a length for Ben Pauling.
Quinn made all on his only ride at Southwell to score on First Excel (13/2), edging the favourite by a neck with a well-judged ride. He won the first at Newcastle on Tuesday on Mobbhij (7/2) for Said Bin Suroor.