Dorma doubles up at Gowran

Dorma doubles up at Gowran

Nessun Dorma and Ruby Walsh ©Healy Racing Photos The Willie Mullins-trained Nessun Dorma produced a fine front-running performance to make it two from two over hurdles in the Kilkenny City & County Vintners Hurdle at Gowran. Ruby Walsh bounced out in front on the 2/5 favourite and he briefly opened up a gap on the field with nearest pursuer Possible Future in the early stages. They came back to the rest in the back straight but Walsh, as ever, had judged the pace to perfection. Treasure Chest tried to throw down a challenge in the straight but was under pressure before the last and Nessun Dorma didn’t have to come off the bridle to record a five-and-a-half length success. The Canford Cliffs gelding was following up his maiden hurdle win at Kilbeggan last month. “Le Richebourg coming out made it easier but he’s not a bad horse,” said Walsh. “He handled the ground very well and he’s unexposed as it’s only the third run of his life. Hopefully there’s more to come.” (Gary Carson & Alan Magee)
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Down Royal good, good to firm in places

Down Royal ©Healy Racing Photos The ground at Down Royal remains good, good to firm in places for the Magners Ulster Derby this afternoon. Action kicks off at the northern track at 2.00pm with the feature event going to post at 3.45pm. The ground at Gowran Park remains good (NH) and good, good to firm in places (Flat). The course also races on Sunday and it is set to be mainly dry over the next 48 hours.
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Bolger strikes again in Ulster Derby

Clongowes and Ronan Whelan ©Healy Racing Photos By Gary Carson Jim Bolger enhanced his remarkable recent record in the Magners Ulster Derby when Clongowes broke his maiden in style in the €100,000 contest. The Coolcullen handler claimed the race last year with Stellar Mass and was making it three out of the last four runnings having also scored with another maiden in Wexford Town in 2014. The Godolphin colt came into the mile-and-a-half feature contest at Down Royal having been placed in seven maiden starts before today. Ronan Whelan, taking the mount for the first time, sat on the girth of leader Finn McCool throughout before sending the well-backed 3/1 favourite (13/1 this morning) to the lead crossing the road at the two pole. The son of New Approach kept on strongly inside the final furlong as Wingingit ran on to take the runner-up spot, a length-and-a-quarter behind. “I came here today hoping that he’d get the job done. I spoke to the boss and spoke to Kevin Manning last night and they were very sweet about him,” said Whelan. “He’s been hitting the crossbar a lot so it’s nice to get his head in front. “He’s just a big galloper and he’ll never do anything flashy. That’s why I was always close to the pace as I didn’t want to give him too much to do. “I didn’t want him getting caught for a turn of foot because what he does do is gallop he’ll go even further than he did today. “The boss always seems to line one up for here and he fitted his profile today. He had a couple of good runs and was nicely weighted. “We had Stellar Mass here last year who went on to be third in the Irish Derby. I know it’s only a handicap but it always takes a nice horse to win this. “Who knows what he could make up in to as he’s still on the up.” It was a quick double on the card for Whelan, who had also landed the previous contest on Cappadocia.
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Mercedes: Rivals’ race pace is ‘evenly matched’

Mercedes: Rivals’ race pace is ‘evenly matched’
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September shines in Chesham

September shines in Chesham

September ©Healy Racing Photos Hot favourite September kept her unbeaten record intact with victory in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Aidan O’Brien’s filly left a big impression when making a successful debut at Leopardstown earlier in the month and was the 11-8 market leader for the opening contest on the final day of the meeting. The Mark Johnston-trained Nyaleti led her rivals a merry dance for much of the seven-furlong affair and briefly looked to have cut loose, b ut September reeled her in late in the day and was well on top at the line in the hands of Ryan Moore. Nyaleti stuck to her guns to finish second ahead of Masar in third. Moore said: “She travelled like the winner the whole way, the Johnston horse went a good gallop and kept going, but I was always confident I would win. Her mother (Peeping Fawn) got better with racing and she’s definitely got some of her talent. “You couldn’t ask for a better pedigree and as she goes further she’ll get better.” September is now the general 6-1 favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas. O’Brien, who struck 12 months ago in the Chesham with subsequent dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill, said: “You’d be delighted with her. She’s out of Peeping Fawn by Deep Impact, so she’s bred absolutely in the purple. “She has a massive engine. She’s a great traveller and quickens really well. “She was very impressive in Leopardstown and what’s unusual about her is she’s not a very big filly, but she thinks she’s big – she has a big personality. “Like those real good ones, she has a big presence about her. She could be anything really. I think she was the first two-year-old that we had that won first time out this year. It’s very exciting.” Outlining plans for the rest of the season, O’Brien said: “She could go to the Debutante and then the Moyglare. If she finished the season at a mile we can then see for next year. “She’s bred to stay very well. We were thinking of running her in the Albany, but Ryan said go for this race. She coped very well with the seven furlongs and travelled well enough. You’d be delighted she has enough speed for seven at the moment. I imagine she’d stay much further.”
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Venezia makes winning start for O’Grady

Venezia and Andrew Lynch ©Healy Racing Photos Venezia made a winning start for trainer Edward O’Grady when opening his jumping account in the Gain Maiden Hurdle at Gowran Park. Andrew Lynch tracked the leaders before producing the 6/1 shot to challenge three from home in the two-and-a-half mile contest. He got the better of Black Key over the last couple of flights, going away on the run-in to record a five-and-a-half success. The winner had been successful twice on the level for Michael Halford. “Perhaps the step up in trip helped him, and the ground didn’t inconvenience him. It probably inconvenienced some of the others,” said O’Grady. “He’s a nice horse and is very effective on fast ground. Hopefully he can win another, and I’d imagine he will be campaigned over the summer.” (Gary Carson & Alan Magee)
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Mcgroarty impresses on debut under rules

Mcgroarty and Paul Power winning the bumper ©Healy Racing Photos By Alan Magee Winning pointer Mcgroarty got off the mark on his debut under rules when taking the First Auto Finance Joe Bollard Memorial Flat Race in fine style at Gowran Park. The Brian Boru gelding took eight starts in point-to-points over the past few seasons before scoring between the flags at Kinsale earlier this month but wasted no time getting off the mark on the track. The field was reduced from 13 to 8 mainly due to the good to firm ground conditions, and the David Kiely-trained six-year-old was sent off at 14/1. Paul Power elected to send him to the front off the home turn, and he stayed on really well inside the final furlong to score by eight and a half lengths. Court Tycoon took the runner-up spot, with Boston Spray a further three lengths back in third. Kiely, saddling his first winner under rules in over three years, said “Two and a half miles and dry ground is what he wants. He’s a good leaper, and I thought he would win a point-to-point on his first or second start. “He was unlucky a few times and had mucus in his lungs a few times.”
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Kruse: It will take big team effort for Australia to beat Chile by two goals

Australia forward Robbie Kruse admits it will take a huge team effort to beat Chile by the two-goal margin they.
International Football News

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Liverpool Exclusive: Southampton not budging on Virgil Van Dijk £70m valuation

JURGEN KLOPP has been told by Southampton that he will need to spend £70million if he wants to take Virgil Van Dijk to Anfield this summer.
Daily Express :: Football Feed

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Vettel: Mercedes gap ‘nothing to be afraid of’

Vettel: Mercedes gap ‘nothing to be afraid of’
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Stark contrast in Spieth, Weekley final pairing

Stark contrast in Spieth, Weekley final pairing
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Boullier: Baku is most painful weekend ever

Boullier: Baku is most painful weekend ever
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Garcia continues push at BMW International

Garcia continues push at BMW International
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O'Brien top trainer as Idaho takes Hardwicke

O’Brien top trainer as Idaho takes Hardwicke

Idaho and Seamus Heffernan ©Healy Racing Photos Idaho could join his full-brother Highland Reel in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes next month after winning the Hardwicke Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot. Just as his sibling had on Wednesday in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the 9-2 chance proved too good for his rivals, beating Barsanti and Chemical Charge by half a length and a length and a quarter, as winning rider Seamie Heffernan timed it to perfection. The Queen’s Dartmouth had every chance when hitting the front seemingly full of purpose, but in the end had to settle for fourth. The victory secured Aidan O’Brien top trainer honours at the meeting for an eighth time. Idaho slipped up when odds-on favourite in the St Leger in September and was last seen finishing sixth behind Highland Reel in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. O’Brien said: “We’re delighted. He’s a full-brother to Highland Reel and we always loved him. It was his first run of the year in the Coronation Cup. He only arrived at the track an hour before and he was very upset. “He was very unlucky in the St Leger last year when he unseated Seamus, you couldn’t believe it, he was coming down the straight on the bridle. “He’s by Galileo and they don’t know when to stop improving or stop trying. It’s very possible he’ll progress, there’s plenty of races for him. I think he gets a mile and a half well, he galloped out very well and those races are open to him. “It (King George) is a possibility for him, the lads will decide what they want to do in a week or 10 days, but it’s a very strong possibility. “Seamus gave him a peach of a ride, he’s a world-class rider. He timed his run to perfection.” On being crowned leading trainer, O’Brien added: “We’re obviously in a very privileged position to be working with such people and horses. It’s a lot of hard work by a lot of people day in and day out. “I’m very lucky to be able to go home every night (from Ascot). We’re at home at 8.30pm every night and it’s great to be able to do it. We look forward to going home, seeing the horses in the morning and then come racing. It’s marvellous really.” Barsanti’s trainer Roger Varian said: “We are delighted with the horse and are very proud of him. It’s a career-best. “It is a bit disappointing that he ran so well and didn’t win. I think the draw beat him. When he got into the straight he got kicked out even wider by Western Hymn. “Well done to the winner, but I think our horse has run a mighty race. We will get him home and see how he is but he has got lots of options. We will try and get him back on the winning trail. “I always thought last year he could be an Australian horse – as in a Cup horse. I think he has got that profile. He is a gelding that goes on fast ground and has got a touch of class. He is not slow either.”
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Hobson second in Ascot finale

Oriental Fox beats Thomas Hobson ©Healy Racing Photos The Queen Alexandra Stakes brought the curtain down on Royal Ascot 2017 and saw a terrific finish. The Willie Mullins-trained Thomas Hobson was the 2-1 favourite to complete a quickfire double following Tuesday’s triumph in the Ascot Stakes, but he had to make do with the runner-up spot on this occasion as Mark Johnston’s 10-1 shot Oriental Fox won the race for the second time. Martin Harley took his time aboard Thomas Hobson and looked to have produced his mount with a well-timed challenge after he poked his head in front inside the final two furlongs. However, Oriental Fox, successful in 2015 and fourth 12 months ago, proved a willing opponent under Joe Fanning and battled back tenaciously to win the argument by a length and a quarter. US Army Ranger, who was runner-up when favourite for the Epsom Derby 12 months ago, was racing over a mile further than he had ever previously encountered. Ryan Moore’s mount kept on to grab third without ever threatening the front pair. Fanning said: “He always runs a good race and he’s travelled around well. “I had plenty of horse turning in. I was worried when the Willie Mullins horse came upsides me, but he got his head down and battled well.” Johnston said: “I love old horses. There’s nothing like having old geldings. “Markus (Graff, owner) was suggesting retiring him at the end of last season before we took him to Pontefract and I said what else are we going to do with him, let him have a go at Polo? “Hopefully, this will have earned him another year in training.”
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Diamond Jubilee preview

Limato ©Healy Racing Photos Henry Candy believes Limato is physically and mentally in peak condition ahead of his bid for Royal Ascot glory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. The five-year-old was a stunning winner of the July Cup at Newmarket last summer and doubled his Group One tally in the Prix de la Foret at Chantilly in the autumn. However, he lines up in Berkshire with something to prove after a disappointing effort on rain-softened ground in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan three months ago. Candy admits it has taken Limato a long time to recover from his exertions in Dubai. The Wantage handler said: “Hopefully it will still be good, fast ground on Saturday. If we don’t get too much rain it should be perfect. “I’ve never seen him more depressed than when he got home from Dubai. “I was surprised how much it did affect him. We had to force him a lot to get him as near fit as we could for World Cup night, then the ground was atrocious. “He couldn’t get any purchase on it and he pulled a lot of muscles and I think that is what got to him. “It has just been a case of giving him plenty of time. “It has taken us a long time to get him back to his old self, but he seems to be there now. “He is full of cheek and full of fun and he is working well, so I’m happy.” William Haggas is expecting a bold show from Duke of York Stakes winner Tasleet. The Newmarket handler said: “He’d struggled on soft ground as a two-year-old so if anybody listened to me before he went to York I sadly put them off. “I’d always tried to avoid it (soft ground), but he looked to relish it at York. “Whether the cheekpieces had something to do with it, which is very possible, and he’ll have them again, he looked quite a good hand. “I wouldn’t mind a bit of give, but I think the drop back in trip suited him more. “He had a bad injury which took an age to recover from last year. It was a shame to miss the summer having won the Greenham. “He’s a lightly-raced four-year-old and I think there’s more to come.” The Charlie Hills-trained Magical Memory was a close-up fourth when favourite for last year’s Diamond Jubilee and finished runner-up in the Duke of York on his seasonal reappearance. Sam Hoskins, racing manager for the owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, said: “Charlie is very happy with the horse and I think we’ve got to be delighted with the draw in stall 18. “It’s sad Frankie (Dettori) is injured and can’t ride as he knows the horse so well, but James Doyle is a great substitute and we’re all really looking forward to the race. “He ran a cracker in the race last year to be beaten only half a length and we were really happy with his reappearance at York. “Hopefully he should get much closer to Tasleet and hopefully that will be good enough to put him right in the mix. “We’re cautiously optimistic. It looks like we’re drawn on the right side and hopefully we’re in with a shout.” Other contenders for the home team include James Fanshawe’s The Tin Man and the Dean Ivory-trained Librisa Breeze. The international challenge includes French raider The Right Man, winner of the Al Quoz Sprint, and Long On Value, trained in America by Bill Mott. Mott’s son and assistant, Riley, said: “Since we’ve brought him back in distance he’s been coming from well off the pace in his races. “With him it’s just a matter of getting him relaxed, whether he is up close or further back to allow him to find his stride.”
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