CREPELLO - Pipers Meadow makes sweet music for Stephen Ryan at Punchestown
Holycross’ Stephen Ryan has his small string in fine fettle and has now struck with two of his three runners this season after Pipers Meadow comfortably landed the second of the extended two mile and four maiden hurdle at Punchestown last week.
A good third to Julies Stowaway at Clonmel when unfancied on his previous outing, the form of which has worked out well.
The six-year-old was very free in the early going but rider Sean O'Keeffe was always in control of the situation. The leaders seemed to get away from him towards the end of backstraight, however, his stamina kicked in and was bang in contention rising to the second last. O'Keeffe produced him to lead before the final hurdle and from there he found plenty to defeat Tucson Train by an ever-increasing length and a half.
This was by far the better of the two divisions of this maiden hurdle and Pipers Meadow was a stylish winner. He is clearly a very useful horse, something that was confirmed by the trainer. He is a fine big individual and Ryan is going to give him time to develop. He will not look any further than a winners contest for his next assignment and take it from there. The winner enjoys good ground and also has the scope to jump a fence in the fullness of time but that will be somewhere down the line.
Stephen Ryan, who will have ten or so on the go for the summer months, told me that they are all in pretty good shape so we can expect to see him visiting the winner’s enclosure on a fairly regular basis, but Pipers Meadow is the one that he has high hopes for.
The West Awaits, from the Edward O'Grady stable, looks to be a mare very much on the upgrade if her display in the two mile and a half novice hurdle is anything to go by when she fairly routed her field.
A warm order in the betting market, the daughter of Flemensfirth, was always close to the pace before taking over at the penultimate hurdle and going right away to win unchallenged by thirteen lengths from Wat Ua Doin.
Described as “a lovely mare from a great family” by winning jockey Brian Hayes, she had a very good run in a listed race at the festival meeting here. “A good ground individual she is a super jumper and is one to look forward to,” concluded Hayes.
This was the second leg of a double for Brian Hayes which was initiated by the Willie Mullins trained Fan Des Blues in the opening two-mile beginner’s chase.
A maiden from nine attempts over fences, the six-year-old had some solid form to his credit and was the one the punters were interested in as they sent him to post an even-money favourite.
Hayes set out his stall early on as he sent his mount into the lead from flag-fall, and he never saw another rival as he passed the post seven and a half lengths clear of Flindt.
Liz Lalor, a member of the well-known Lisronagh racing and breeding family and a leading rider in her own right, was seen to good effect when she landed the two mile and four lady riders handicap hurdle, aboard Junior Rattler.
Coming from off the pace she delivered her challenge on the run to the last hurdle and in a ding-dong battle from there she just got the better of the Evanna McCutcheon ridden Nodoubtaboutthat by half a length.
All Flat card at Tipperary
Tipperary staged an all-flat card on Tuesday week last where premier county handlers were responsible for three of the eight winners.
Moyne-based Tim Doyle set the ball rolling when he saddled Spanish Tenor to take the opening seven furlong claiming race in the hands of Oisin Orr.
Never too far off the leaders, the seven-year-old responded well to the urgings of Orr to hit the front a furlong out and although tiring visibly in the final one hundred yards held on for a half-length success.
Placed at Group 3 level at the Zenith of his career, Spanish Tenor has dropped down the ratings in recent times. His valuation of €15,000 saw him shoulder joint top weight and he was later claimed by Ado McGuinness for this amount.
After a season to forget last term when his horses were all wrong, Joe Murphy has hit the ground this year and he added to his tally when Gyldan, under a strong Gary Carroll ride, captured the five-furlong maiden.
Making a belated racecourse debut, the daughter of Make Believe had takers from as high as 20/1 into 12/1. Settled in midfield she was one of the first off the bridle but showed plenty of resolve to lead well inside the last furlong and win going away by a couple of lengths from Jon Riggens.
The trainer’s son, also Joe, revealed that the winner always showed plenty but has had her problems and this was a triumph for perseverance. She will now be aimed at a winner’s race, but the long-term aim is to get some blacktype as she comes from a good family.
Denis Hogan got his name on the scoresheet when Malbas ran out a clear winner of the first division of the mile and a half 45-65 handicap.
Tightening from 6&7/1 into 100/30, he was not rushed early on by Joey Sheridan but crept into the race from the halfway point, but once given the office he found another gear and went away to record a most impressive four length victory over the Ado McGuinness runner Lariat.
Although he had just a solitary victory to show for over twenty outings, he had run some good races in defeat and the way he won here suggests that there is more to come.
Twilight Jet, a £210,000 purchase at the Goff’s UK Breeze Up Sale to the bid of trainer Michael O'Callaghan, opened his account at the third time of asking when he landed the five-furlong juvenile maiden.
An easy to back 4/1 chance, Twilight Jet was always travelling well and once rider Leigh Roche popped the question, he picked up well and was full value for his length victory over the favourite Harmony Rose.
We had the unusual sight of the winner doing a full circuit of the track before being pulled up. Well regarded by connections the winner is likely to reappear at Royal Ascot with his target yet to be decided.