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HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

JUNE

JUNE 2008 Aidan O’Brien-trained Ice Queen, who finished last in the Epsom Oaks nine days previously, bouncing back to form in spectacular fashion to win the featured Kerry Group Noblesse Stakes (Group 3). Elsewhere on the card, the Kerry Spring Water Rochestown Stakes (listed) saw an impressive winning performance from the Kevin Prendergast-trained Heart Of Fire, who made all the running to prevail easily under Declan McDonogh. Royal Ascot is always one of the highlights of the Flat season and 2008 witnessed the Irish raiding party enjoy a remarkable level of success. The opening day saw Aidan O’Brien and Johnny Murtagh complete a Group 1 double, with Haradasun winning the Queen Anne Stakes and Henrythenavigator winning the St James Palace Stakes. The pair went on to gain further Group 1 glory at the meeting with Duke Of Marmalade winning the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the remarkable Yeats gaining a historic third consecutive win in the Ascot Gold Cup. It was then Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning who took the honours on the Friday of the meeting, with Cuis Ghaire landing a massive public gamble in the Albany Stakes before Lush Lashes won the Coronation Stakes in impressive fashion. The opening days of June were dominated by the fallout from Jim Bolger’s highly-controversial flip-flop on deciding to run New Approach in the Epsom showpiece after all, which provoked a massive reaction from punters and media alike. However, Bolger had the last laugh when the son of Galileo came from a long way back to get the better of Tartan Bearer by half a length under an inspired Kevin Manning ride at Epsom. The previous day, Soldier Of Fortune had added yet another Group 1 win to the Ballydoyle tally when winning the Juddemonte Coronation Cup at the same track. Tipperary is often used as a starting point for a useful juvenile and, in early June, THE PREVIOUS DAY, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE HAD ADDED YET ANOTHER GROUP 1 WIN TO THE BALLYDOYLE TALLY WHEN WINNING THE JUDDEMONTE CORONATION CUP AT THE SAME TRACK. one such individual was sent to the track by David Wachman. Sent off at 10/3, Bushranger readily accounted for the much more experienced Nubar Lady and would go on to much better things later in the year for his young trainer. One of the biggest days in Cork’s racing year took place in mid-June, with the Back on the domestic scene it was soon Irish Derby weekend and the feature race of the middle day of the meeting, the Audi Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1), was won by the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Promising Lead under Ryan Moore. In what was an exciting and controversial renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1), the Aidan O’Brien-trained Frozen Fire swept to the lead in the closing stages to prevail under Seamie Heffernan. However, the aftermath of the race centred on the errant run of the winner’s stablemate, Allesandro Volta, who veered violently across the track one furlong out, hampering a number of the main protagonists and resulting in him being demoted from third back to fourth in the subsequent Stewards Enquiry. 14 FACTBOOK 2008

JUNE ATTENDANCE FIXTURES TOTE BOOKMAKERS SP SHOP NO OF RUNNERS 2008 132,972 34 4,093,440 12,787,999 801,124 3,201 2007 120,704 33 3,849,820 13,178,209 835,368 2,960 VARIANCE 12,268 1 243,620 -390,210 -34,244 241 % VAR 10.2% 3.0% 6.3% -3.0% -4.1% 8.1% FACTBOOK 2008 15

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