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HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

AUGUST

AUGUST 2008 surgery to realign three vertebrae and two discs in his neck. Fitzgerald bagged a host of big races during his illustrious career, including the 1996 Grand National aboard Rough Quest and the 1999 Cheltenham Gold Cup on See More Business. The Ballydoyle momentum continued into August as, at the backend of the meeting at Glorious Goodwood, Halfway To Heaven narrowly beat off the undeniably unlucky Lush Lashes in a dramatic renewal of the Blue Square Nassau Stakes (Group 1). However, it wasn’t all good news for Ballydoyle, as that same week Peeping Fawn, who was one of the stars of the 2007 Flat season, was retired by Aidan O’Brien. The daughter of Danehill took four attempts to break her maiden, but after she finally did, she progressed rapidly into a Group 1 performer, winning the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Irish Oaks, the Nassau Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks. The intention had been for her to run again in 2008, but a number of niggling problems had kept her off the track and the decision was taken to retire her. IN ADDITION TO HIS PROWESS AT GETTING WINNERS AT THE GALWAY FESTIVAL, DERMOT WELD’S ABILITY TO SEND HIS HORSES ABROAD TO WIN BIG RACES IS ALSO WELL ESTABLISHED AND HE FLEW WINCHESTER OUT TO ARLINGTON IN EARLY AUGUST TO WIN THE SECRETARIAT STAKES (GRADE 1) Across the pond, Irish-born jump jockey Mick Fitzgerald announced his retirement from race riding on medical advice. The 38-year-old rider suffered serious neck injuries after a fall from L’Ami in the John Smith’s Grand National in April. He subsequently underwent two bouts of In addition to his prowess at getting winners at the Galway Festival, Dermot Weld’s ability to send his horses abroad to win big races is also well established and he flew Winchester out to Arlington in early August to win the Secretariat Stakes (Grade 1) under Rene Douglas. However, back at home the unseasonably wet weather claimed a number of meetings, with Tramore and Roscommon being forced to abandon, and that would prove to be just the proverbial tip of the iceberg, with many more fixtures being lost in the weeks that followed. Britain was treated just as badly by the weather, with York’s Ebor meeting being washed out and hastily rearranged at Newmarket later in the week. That didn’t stop two of Ireland’s toughest performers winning at Group 1 level at the meeting, with Lush Lashes winning the Darley Yorkshire Oaks for Bolger and Manning, and Duke Of Marmalade winning the Juddmonte International Stakes for O’Brien and Murtagh in a race that would later cause much controversy due to alleged team tactics between the O’Brien-trained runners. Over in Australia, Katie Walsh took the €60,000 Dominant Chase at Moonee Valley on favourite Hoplite to ensure victory for the Irish team with a points tally of 89 – 74 over their hosts in the Australia vs Ireland Jumping Challenge. In doing so, Katie created history by becoming the first lady rider to win a chase at Moonee Valley. At the backend of the month, David Wachman, who had enjoyed a fi ne season up to that point, saddled a Group 1 winner on consecutive weekends, with Bushranger winning the Prix Morny at Deauville under Johnny Murtagh before Again won the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh under Seamie Heffernan. 18 FACTBOOK 2008

AUGUST ATTENDANCE FIXTURES TOTE BOOKMAKERS SP SHOP NO OF RUNNERS 2008 154,438 36 4,876,762 16,056,929 1,077,995 3,391 2007 278,014 39 9,936,671 56,350,319 1,876,613 3,398 VARIANCE -123,576 -3 -5,059,909 -40,293,390 -798,618 -7 % VAR -44.5% -7.7% -50.9% -71.5% -42.6% -0.2% FACTBOOK 2008 19

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