Fogarty makes an immediate impact at Naas
High-flying Cleariestown rider Mikey Fogarty took little time to get among the winners at Naas on Saturday as he guided the Ken Condon-trained Social Riser to victory in the opening Book Hospitality Online Maiden Hurdle.
Fogarty took the bull by the horns heading out into the back straight, and sent Social Riser into a clear lead of about 15 lengths. He managed to keep enough in reserve too as Social Riser stayed on well to beat the favourite, I'll Be Your Clown, by five lengths.
'She'd a couple of runs over hurdles. Ideally it would be great to get a lead but I wanted a truly run race. I had a quick run around the track beforehand and the ground wasn't too bad,' remarked Fogarty afterwards.
New Ross young gun jockey Donagh O'Connor won the opening 6f handicap on Your Pal Tal, trained by Johnny Levins, at Dundalk on Friday night.
With dual winner On His Own withdrawn from the €100,000 Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase, the weights for Thursday's Gowran Park feature look set to rise.
Sunday's big Leopardstown winner, Foxrock, is currently the highest-rated horse in the race but he will not turn out again so quickly, and the Willie Mullins-trained Djakadam looks set to be left to carry top-weight.
The champion trainer has whittled his entry down to just two and along with Djakadam, he also has Dogora. Mullins has won the Goffs Thyestes on five occasions in total and prior to the victories of On His Own, he scored with Micko's Dream in 2000, Hedgehunter (2004) and Homer Wells (2007).
Finally, Hurricane Fly is likely to have a resident or two from his own yard along in the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.
Mullins reports the 21-time Grade One winning superstar to be on course to try to win this race for a fifth successive season.
Of four entries in the race, Mullins has all but ruled out Faugheen taking his chance but Arctic Fire (who finished an impressive third to Hurricane Fly and Jezki at Leopardstown at Christmas) and Diakali are still in the frame.
'I imagine Arctic Fire will come. I doubt Faugheen will come, but we'll see,' the County Carlow handler told At the Races.
'Three of them are being worked before the race and we'll see what happens by the middle of the week. Hurricane Fly appears to be in good order at home so hopefully we'll be here with him.
'I don't think I need to run Faugheen again before Cheltenham. I'm happy enough with him at home.'
Racing takes place at the following racetracks over the coming week: Fairyhouse, Wednesday, January 21 (first race 1.10 p.m.); Gowran Park, Thursday, January 22 (first race 1.15 p.m.), Dundalk, Friday, January 23 (first race 6.05 p.m.), Navan, Saturday, January 24 (first race 12.45 p.m.); and Leopardstown, Sunday, January 25 (first race 1.10 p.m.).