Cummins ends 35year wait for Listowel winner

Cummins ends 35year wait for Listowel winner

James Eclipse and Sheila Ahern ©Healy Racing Photos By Thomas Weekes James Eclipse’s win in the concluding Listowel Vintners Association Bumper at Listowel today, was followed by wild celebrations by his trainer Tom Cummins who was achieving a lifelong ambition to train a Listowel festival winner and later remembered two deceased people in his post-race summation. The winning son of Double Eclipse made all under jockey Sheila Ahern and battled well in the closing stages to hold off the challenge of runner-up Cool Robin, by a length. Afterwards Cummins stated “it’s my lifetime’s ambition to have a winner in Listowel and I first came here 35 years ago and I said if I ever have a horse, I want to have a winner in Listowel. “I could retire now because my legs are gone!” He added “he came to me as a full horse and we have a cracking two year old (son) by him; he’s broken and riding and he’s called McGregor – he’s called that for a reason. “This is a super horse and he is bred by his owner James O’Gorman, who had his dam and grandam. He sent me down the horse “A great friend of mine, a Listowel man Anthony Broderick who lived beside me, died back in July and Anthony was with me for my first winner and is with me today for my next winner. Anthony told me I’d have a Listowel winner some day. “The horse is called after James O’Gorman’s nephew who died seven years ago in October.”
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Byrnes hotpot survives final flight fright

Wonder Laish makes a mistake at the final hurdle ©Healy Racing Photos By Thomas Weekes The Charles Byrnes trained Wonder Laish justified strong 1/2 favouritism when landing the M.S.D. Animal Health Maiden Hurdle at Listowel today, but not before giving his supporters a fright at the final flight. Ridden by Davy Russell, the ex-flat racer arrived to challenge leader Iusetaluvheronce at the second last and while clearly travelling much better approaching the last, gave his followers a serious ‘oh no’ moment with a mistake at the final obstacle. It allowed Iusetaluvheronce another chance early on the run-in but the winning son of Halling picked up almost instantly and passed the line a length and three parts ahead, with Russell affording a wry grin on pulling up. Byrnes later said “he looked the class horse of the race but he still had to go and do it. He settled well and jumped well enough apart from the mistake at the last and won handy enough I thought. “Davy (Russell) was very patient and left the other horses do the donkey work and it’s great to get the win for the owner (Martin White). We had a winner yesterday with Alto Esqua and he has a good few horses with me but hadn’t much success for the last seven or eight months. “He’ll tip away in a novice but you wouldn’t be jumping up and down after today! If we got heavy ground he might run in the November Handicap.”
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Atzeni believes Defoe can score in Leger

Andrea Atzeni ©Healy Racing Photos Andrea Atzeni feels Defoe has improved enough to make him a genuine contender in Saturday’s William Hill St Leger at Doncaster. Roger Varian’s grey has been the horse for money all week in the final Classic of the Flat season, partly because he has proven his effectiveness with cut in the ground. Defoe began the season with a paltry rating of 88 but he has taken a huge step forward with each run. His progression began with a win in the informative London Gold Cup at Newbury and he defied a 10lb rise to win at York next time out. Upped to Listed class at Hamilton, he beat a subsequent Group Three winner in Frankuus before taking his form to a new level on his most recent outing. Up against older horses in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes he oozed class, beating Wall Of Fire cosily, but that form still leaves him shy of Group One company. “He’s in great form, I’m looking forward to riding him,” said Atzeni. “He needs to improve again, but I think he has. The ground should suit him, he stays well and we’d be very hopeful.” Defoe is currently 9-2 third favourite with the sponsors.
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