The ups and downs
Flanagan sees boths sides of the game
Sean Flanagan saw both sides of the racing game this week, finishing second to Ruby Walsh three times in rapid succession but then getting back in the groove to record three winners in his best few days for a while. Young Camolin rider, James O'Sullivan, also hit the high spots when taking the €20,000 featured Mullacurry Cup at Bellewstown on Wednesday, followed up by a winner at Wexford on Saturday.
It was a day of seconds at Downpatrick on Monday with Wexford riders filling the runner-up slot four times. Sean Flanagan was twice second to Ruby Walsh - in the handicap hurdle on Colin Bowe's Tranquil Magic (7/1), behind Peter Fahey's Small World (7/4f), and in the maiden hurdle on David Kelly's Great Trango (10/3), behind Didero Vallis (8/13f) for Willie Mullins.
Colin Bowe took the silver medal again in the Beginners Chase with Reuben James (7/1) under Keith Donohoe, behind another hot shot, Jimmy Two Times (8/13), ridden by Andrew Lynch. Jamie Codd got the better of Pat Mullins in the bumper on Gordon Elliott's Boris Grishenko (6/4), but both of them lost out to Finny Maguire on Dermot Weld's Days Without End (6/4jf).
The Wexford jockeys had better luck at Ballinrobe on Tuesday, scoring in the last two races. Flanagan won for boss, Noel Meade, on Major Destination (7/4f) in the Beginners' chase, and in the bumper, Codd again got home ahead of Mullins but this time was on the winner for John Queally, Getaway Katie Mai (at a handsome 7/1).
Clonard, Wexford, native, Conor O'Dwyer kept up his recent good run, this time on the flat at Bellewstown on Weds., with Mohayyen in a 16-runner one mile handicap under Killian Leonard at a handsome 12/1).
Over the jumps at Bellewstown on Thursdsay there was a great victory in the featured €20,000 Mullacurry Cup handicap hurdle for Runyon Rattler (22/1) under Camolin seven pound claimer, James O'Sullivan. He gave the Philip Rothwell (Tinahely) trained seven year old a fine ride to see off some of the top riders in the game on an outsider..
He saw the other side of the game in the later three mile handicap hurdle when he was close up and very much in contention on Manuka (12/1) for Karl Thornton but came to grief two from home, a race where Sean Flanagan came third on an old friend, Noel Meade's Tulsa Jack (7/1).
Sean Flanagan's bout of 'seconditis' continued in the first at Down Royal on Friday evening when Meade's Vision D'Ete (5/2) was beaten by Ruby Walsh on his father's Minnie Dahill (7/1).
Luck turned at last for the man from Palace East in the maiden hurdle, with a bit of help from trainer Liz Doyle from Crossabeg - they combined to score with Bosco Di Alco (8/1) by nearly five lengths from Davy Russell on Gordon Elliott's Credan Grae.
The horse has had some wind problems and has not been consistent - 'you'd be in the poor house if
you followed this horse since he won his bumper here,' was Doyle's summation, and she's hoping the corner has now been turned.
Flanagan doubled up in the next on Rashaan (evens fav) for Colin Kidd, a horse he had won on twice earlier in the season. Rashaan has had ten wins on flat and jumps his 25-race career.
Aidan O'Brien had a winning double at Tipperary with son, Donnacha - Sizzling (1/2) repelling Jim Bolger's Epaneema (20/1) by just half a length in the fillies maiden, and Squire's Tale (7/2) in the concluding maiden. There was a great run here by Jonathan Fogarty's (Cleariestown) 50/1 outsider, Bid Adieu, losing out by just half a length under Ronan Whelan.
Jim Bolger and O'Brien had a winner e3ach at Navan on Saturday, and Bolger's may turn out to be significant.
His Goldrush is really bred in the purple, being by Frankel out of his own star mare, Alexander Goldrun. The horse cost the China Horse Club a princely €1.7m.
The mare had a couple of hiccups along the way and did not run as a two year old and is quite late making her debut as a three year old in a humble maiden having had plans disrupted several times. It's surprising she was allowed to go off at 6/1 and was a comfortable winner.
It will be very interesting to follow progress now that she has got off the mark.
O'Brien's win was with Intelligence Cross (8/13) under son Donnacha in a five furlong sprint and it was comfortable.
Irish racing this week is on the beach at Laytown on Tuesday; Gowran on Weds.; Clonmel on Thurs; Down Royal and Kilbeggan on Frid. The multi-million Euro Longines Champions Weekend is staged at Leopardstown on Sat., and the Curragh on Sunday, while the seven-day Listowel Harvest Festival also starts on Sunday 10th.