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HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

HRI Fact Book 2008 - Horse Racing Ireland

FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY 2008 The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup meeting at Leopardstown is traditionally one of the top meetings in the Irish National Hunt calendar and this year’s renewal was no different. At the conclusion of the feature race, the English raiders came to the fore with the Robert and Sally Alner-trained The Listener making all under Daryl Jacob to beat the Paul Nicholls-trained Turko by 5½ lengths, avenging a narrow defeat at the hands of Beef Or Salmon in the corresponding race the previous year. On the same card, the Deloitte Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) saw the Tom Cooper-trained Forpadydeplasterer emerge the gritty winner under Davy Russell while the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase (Grade 1) witnessed an impressive winning performance from the Willie Mullins-trained J’y Vole under Ruby Walsh. The ongoing battle for the jockeys’ title continued with Ruby Walsh riding a treble at Fairyhouse on a mid-week card before his rival Davy Russell matched that feat the very next day at Thurles. Later that week, the Red Mills Chase (Grade 2) was the feature race at Gowran Park and THE ONGOING BATTLE FOR THE JOCKEYS’ TITLE CONTINUED WITH RUBY WALSH RIDING A TREBLE AT FAIRYHOUSE ON A MID-WEEK CARD BEFORE HIS RIVAL DAVY RUSSELL MATCHED THAT FEAT THE VERY NEXT DAY AT THURLES while it was billed as the race that would see Kicking King return to winning form, Tom Taaffe’s charge ultimately proved disappointing behind the shock 33/1 winner, Ballistraw. The following day, there were typically joyous celebrations following the somewhat fortunate win of the Oliver Brady-trained Maralan in the Kevin McManus Flyingbolt Novice Chase (Grade 2) at Navan, with the Monaghan man holding court in the winner’s enclosure in now familiar fashion after his charge was left clear by the final-fence fall of Clopf. Elsewhere on that card, the Eoin Griffintrained Kazal bounced back to form to win the Ladbrokes.com Boyne Hurdle (Grade 2) and the Willie Mullins-trained Pomme Tiepy won the Keatings Oil Ten Up Novice Chase (Grade 2). During this period, Noel Meade was enduring an uncharacteristically quiet spell and he emerged from a winner-less period of no less than 50 days when saddling a double at Punchestown towards the end of the month. Later that week, the Liam Burke-trained Thyne Again confi rmed himself as one of Ireland’s leading novice chasers with an impressive success in the Woodlands Park 100 Nas Na Riogh Novice Chase (Grade 2) at Naas and remarkably, for the second time in a week, the Oliver Brady-trained Maralan was gifted success in the paddypowerpoker.com Newlands Chase (Grade 2) by the last fence fall of Schindlers Hunt. Elsewhere on that card, the paddypower.com Johnstown Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) saw the Michael Bowetrained Coolcashin cause something of a surprise when winning under Tom Doyle. The 29th February saw the Irish Flat season begin on the all-weather at Dundalk for the first time, though with high-class hurdler Harchibald winning the featured conditions race, one could have been fooled into thinking it was a National Hunt fixture. The meeting was given an even further National Hunt flavour with Michael O’Brien completing a double on the card. 06 FACTBOOK 2008

FEBRUARY ATTENDANCE FIXTURES TOTE BOOKMAKERS SP SHOP NO OF RUNNERS 2008 53,202 17 2,179,042 9,661,582 898,091 1,838 2007 49,105 14 1,635,259 10,277,827 900,152 1,349 VARIANCE 4,097 3 543,783 -616,245 -2,061 489 % VAR 8.3% 21.4% 33% -6% -0.2% 36.3% FACTBOOK 2008 07

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