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HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

MAY

MAY 2008 The first Classics of the season took place at Newmarket in early-May and Irish horses dominated the finish of the Stanjamesuk.com 2000 Guineas, with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Henrythenavigator narrowly beating off the Jim Bolger-trained New Approach under an inspired Johnny Murtagh ride. The Stanjamesuk.com 1000 Guineas saw victory for the French-trained Natagora, but the Jim Bolger-trained Lush Lashes very much caught the eye back in sixth and would go on to much better things as the season progressed. On the same day as the 1000 Guineas, a little bit of history was made at Sligo with Ruby Walsh partnering his 1000th winner in Ireland when riding the Dessie Hughestrained Rare Article to a narrow victory in a maiden hurdle. Earlier in the week, Ger Lyons completed a treble at Dundalk, a story that would be repeated on a number of occasions as the season progressed at the Co. Louth track. There was a familiar look to the results AWAY FROM THE RACECOURSE, THE NEWS BROKE THAT SADLER’S WELLS, ONE OF THE GREATEST STALLIONS OF ALL TIME, HAD BEEN RETIRED BY COOLMORE STUD DUE TO DECLINING FERTILITY sheet at Leopardstown the following week with Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen again proving dominant, completing a treble on this occasion with the undoubted star being Casual Conquest, who ran out the extremely impressive winner of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Group 2). Away from the racecourse, the news broke that Sadler’s Wells, one of the greatest stallions of all time, had been retired by Coolmore Stud due to declining fertility. The 27-year-old had sired a total of 106 European Group 1 winners, including 23 winners of 33 Classics in Britain, Ireland, and France. He was crowned Champion Sire for the 14th time in 2004, breaking the record held by Highflyer since 1798. As one star of the game was retired, a few days later at Leopardstown, the career of what could well be a star of the future was launched at Leopardstown as Danny Mullins, a 16-year-old son of trainers Tony and Mags Mullins who was already widely known for his exploits in the pony racing field, gained his first win on the racecourse there. Riding My Girl Sophie for his new boss, Jim Bolger, he made all the running on the three-year-old filly to prevail comfortably. The first Irish Classic saw the much-anticipated rematch between Henrythenavigator and New Approach in the Boylesports 2000 Guineas, but the showdown never materialised, with New Approach failing to act on the firmer going and Henrythenavigator relishing it, running out the easy winner under Johnny Murtagh. The following day, O’Brien again dominated proceedings, completing a four-timer on the card that included a Group 1 double with the Boylesports 1000 Guineas going to Halfway To Heaven under Seamie Heffernan and the Tattersalls Gold Cup being won by Duke Of Marmalade under Johnny Murtagh. 12 FACTBOOK 2008

MAY ATTENDANCE FIXTURES TOTE BOOKMAKERS SP SHOP NO OF RUNNERS 2008 122,325 43 4,265,327 14,394,329 1,016,725 4,209 2007 118,644 38 4,691,104 17,002,072 1,146,929 3,697 VARIANCE 3,681 5 -425,777 -2,607,743 -130,204 512 % VAR 3.1% 13.2% -9.1% -15.3% -11.4% 13.9% FACTBOOK 2008 13

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