The curtain came down the Thurles racing season on Tuesday and Boherlahan based rider Davy Russell was the fine form as he recorded a double which keeps him will ahead of Ruby Walsh in the jockeys championship.
Standing in for Andrew Lynch who was suspended Russell joined forces with trainer Henry de Bromhead and the combination got off the mark courtesy of Old Laxey in the two mile maiden hurdle for 5.y.o’s and over. Spot fine from the Mouse Morris yard started favourite and this pair had the race to themselves from a long way out. Russell dictated the pace on the former for much of the journey buy was joined by Spot Fine going across the top of the track and the pendulum swung both ways before Old Laxey finally gained the upper hand to score by three parts of a length. this was a thoroughly game display by the winner which had some decent if not spectacular form. He is considered to be a summer horse by his trainer and will go jumping fences later in the year.
The Golden Tornado gelding Bertie’ Dream completed the double when battling well to land the three mile conditions hurdle. A well supported the nine year old set off in front but was joined going to the final flight by Empire Theatre, however he pulled out most on the run-in to hit the wire a head to the good. Another that has a preference for better ground Berties Dream will now be given an entry for the Grade1 World Hurdle at Punchestown and according to de Bromhead will give a good account of himself. Another trainer and jockey team to enjoy a double was that of Michael Hourigan and Adrian Heskin, Hourigan had been out of the limelight in recent times but bounced back to form at Limerick and continued his winning ways here.
Awkward Moment drew first blood when he ran out a workmanlike winner of the two mile and six beginners chase. A frustrating animal to follow the son of Deploy still had a following in the betting market. He was never too far out of his ground before hitting the front at the penultimate fence and running on strongly to land the spoils by three lengths at the expense of Rockshandy. The victory was made much easier when the favourite Shifa had to be pulled up injured at the second last but one could hardly begrudge Awkward Moment his day in the sun. Hourigan intimated post race that his charge will continue to race for the foreseeable future now that we have finally seen good ground, he carries the famous Beef or Salmon livery but will hardly scale the same heights as his illustrious former stable companion.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.