Pat displays class
McDonald enjoys major York double
Pat McDonald from Monastery Avenue, Taghmon, had one of the best days of his successful racing career in Britain and advertised his abilities at the high-profile York Ebor meeting on Friday when he scored a 255/1 double, including a great win in a £200,000 Group 2 on a horse generally regarded as a very difficult ride.
He was the third choice jockey on Montaly (16/1) in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup and he gave him a brilliant ride to get up in the final stride to deny Ryan Moore and the Queen's horse, Dartmouth (11/4f), by a nose, the minimum margin in racing.
Oisín Murphy and William Buick had previously ridden the horse but were not available and McDonald eventually got the call. As the esteemed 'Racing Post' reported: 'Even his own nearest and dearest consider Montaly decidedly quirky - trainer Andrew Balding's wife Anna Lisa called him a "pig" after the race'.
But she had lots of praise for the Taghmon man. 'PJ had never sat on him before but he knew he had plenty in the tank all the way to the line…(he) has ridden for Andrew a bit, he's an excellent horseman and we were lucky to get him on the day'.
McDonald was delighted afterwards: 'I thought from three out he'd run a big race. When I crossed the line I actually thought I'd finished second so it was a lovely surprise'.
The Taghmon man completed his double on the £70,000 maiden winner Dream Today (14/1), who was making his debut for trainer Mark Johnston who said: 'He's a smashing horse with a nice build and lovely pedigree'. Might be one for the notebook.
Pat Dobbs from Enniscorthy kept up the good work at York on Saturday when he was a short head winner in a driving finish to the £70,000 Class 2 handicap on Eddystone Rock (20/1) for Jim Best.
There was another big-priced Wexford-ridden winner in the featured £25,000 fillies' handicap at Newmarket on Friday, with Jimmy Quinn from New Ross getting home by a neck on Fire Jet (14/1) for John Mackie, ahead of Melinoe (15/8) under Martin Dwyer for Mark Prescott.
I realise it is entering fantasy land but a €1 treble on the three Wexford-ridden York winners would have returned a remarkable €5,355, and a €1 accumulator on the four Wexford winners would have given you an eye-watering €80,355. You can but dream!
Aidan O'Brien ran into a couple of tartars at the York meeting and unusually came away without a
winner but still picked up substantial sterling rewards. For instance, in a really good renewal of the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes on Wednesday, Churchill (5/2f) and Ryan Moore came second to Michael Stoute's Ulysses (4/1), but still picked up a cool £215,000.
Earlier in the week, Pat Dobbs was on the mark at Brighton on Tuesday on Ocean Temptress (3/1), winning snugly for trainer Joseph Ryan. Josh Quinn, the apprentice son of Ross man Jimmy, went for one ride and scored in the final race with a good ride on Rock Icon (11/2), pipping hot favourite Buzz Lightyere (8/11) by a neck.
Jonathan Moore went over to Stratford in England for a couple of rides on Thursday for Gavin Cromwell and Rebecca Curtis but had no luck.