Tag Archives: johnny murtagh

Quinn ladies steal show at Naas

Celebrity Judges Gillian & Aisling Quinn coupled with the much sought after first prize of a €1,000 worth of Prizes from the Osprey Hotel + Spa made the perfect partners for Ladies Day at Naas Races. All eyes were firmly fixed on style and the fashionista’s of the day; the stylish winner was Emer Nash from Castlemartin, Co.Limerick.

Emer Nash, looked stunning in an racing and weather appropriate outfit and was polished off by a red and black hat from Aristohats in Newbridge. The outfit comprised of an elegant black jumpsuit from Vanity Fair Newbridge, shoes from Marks & Spencer’s, handbag from Aldo and high street accessories including gloves and umbrella from Penny’s and belt from Dunnes Stores. Emer won a €1,000 worth of prizes from the Osprey Hotel + Spa. The prize includes a two night stay for two people in the Osprey Hotel + Spa’s luxurious penthouse, with an elegant living room downstairs and your own private balcony, champagne and chocolates on arrival, a delicious dinner at the mash restaurant and an hour long Swedish massage. A delighted Emer Nash said:- “I am thrilled to win at Naas, I come here several times throughout the year with my friends and was delighted to hear of their plans for a Ladies Day, it gave us all a chance to get dressed up on a beautiful Autumn Day but I never dreamed I’d actually win!”

Osprey Hotel + Spa Ladies Day produced an abundance of high quality fashion taking part in the Best Dressed Lady competition. Celebrity Judges Aisling & Gillian Quinn had the difficult task of choosing the winner from such a high quality turnout. The ten lucky runners-up were congratulated with a luxury beauty goodie bag from the Osprey Hotel + Spa to celebrate their place as one of the glamorous finalists and all the ladies who dressed up enjoyed a Sparkling Prosecco reception. The ten finalists included Margaret Mc Connolly from Mullingar, Denise Mc Lean from Newbridge, Marie Smyth from Naas, Liz Waters from Newtown, Charlene Kilroy from Naas, Shauna Channon from Newbridge, Rose Buggy from Bagnalstown, Sarah Cass from Gowran, and Liz Maher from Bagnalstown.

Celebrity judge, Gillian Quinn said: “Aisling and I both enjoy a day’s racing and we love fashion and were delighted to be asked to judge the Best Dressed Lady at Naas, our local track. I was thrilled to see such a wonderful array of stylish outfits and beautiful women. Today’s winner, Emer Nash really stood out to me and I’d like to thank John Caffey from the Osprey Hotel + Spa and Naas Races for having me here today”.

Tom Ryan, Manager of Naas racecourse said: “We are delighted with the strong crowd on this one of the highlights of our Racing Calendar, the Derrinstown Stud Birdcatcher day. It has been a very encouraging race meeting with an increased attendance from 2010 of 3,126 this year, and a strong betting turnover of €316,000 in the ring and €98,600 with the Tote. The atmosphere her at Ladies day has been incredible with such high-fashion and great Flat and National Hunt racing, at this our annual Ladies Day Event.”

The feature race of the day, The Derrinstown Stud Birdcatcher Nursery worth €65,000, was won by Beau Amadeus, who is owned by Total Recall Racing Club and trained by Ado Mc Guinness and ridden by Wayne Lordan.

Clock is ticking towards Tipp’s Super Sunday

Super Sunday, 2nd October 2011 is shaping up to be an exciting day’s racing at Tipperary Racecourse. With an eight-race mixed card, there are both top class Flat & National Hunt races on offer. The pick of the action on the Flat is the €65,000 Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes, an extended 7f contest for three-year-olds and upwards, which was won last year by Emulous, who recently landed the Group 1 Coolmore Fusiachi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. Dermot Weld, trainer of Emulous, will be hoping for a repeat win as he has two strong representatives engaged in a field of nineteen entries with Galway Topaz Mile winner, Stunning View, and recent Fairy Bridge Stakes runner up, Anam Alta, sure to make a bold bid. Other notable entries include the likes of Minstrel Stakes winner, Across The Rhine, and last week’s Curragh runner up Bay Knight with Look At Me, Six Of Hearts and Seeharn others to consider.

The National Hunt action on the card sees no less than three Graded races take place. The most valuable of them is the €52,500 Grade 2 Friends Of Tipperary Hurdle a race that was dominated by the legendary Istabraq in the late 1990’s, with Aidan O’Brien’s charge winning three consecutive renewals of the race. In more recent years, it has been won by the likes of Solerina, Harchibald and Go Native. This year’s race has attracted a quality field of eleven entries with Grimes Hurdle winner Captain Cee Bee being opposed once again by Edward O’Grady’s The Real Article who finished a very close second in that race while Galway Hurdle runner up Fosters Cross represents trainer Tom Mullins and the smart Luska Lad could also take his chance.

The Novices’ take centre stage from there, with the Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice Chase and the Grade 3 Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle always proving to be informative and exciting contests. Twelve entries were received for the Like A Butterfly Novice Chase with the ‘Mouse’ Morris trained First Lieutenant, narrow winner of the Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March, catching the eye while the likes of recent chase winners Ainama, Sorceror and Slievedaragh should feature prominently. A dozen entries also appear in the Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle with recent Fairyhouse winner, Steps To Freedom, from the Jessica Harrington yard, expected to be fully tested by Galway winner Tavern Times with the smart bumper mare Dazzling Susie and John Kiely’s Carlingford Lough all likely to make their presence felt.

As it is also Prix de l’Arc day in Longchamp, Racing Journalists Damien McElroy and David Byrnes will preview both cards in the Enclosure in Tipperary Racecourse at 12:45pm. This will include interviews with trainers and jockeys to help you pick your winners for the day and of course the main action from Longchamp will be shown live on the big screen.

Following their historic win in Croke Park against Dublin, the Tipperary Minor Football team will be at the races on Sunday to show off the Tom Markham Cup to all their fans.

To encourage people to come early Tipperary Racecourse is offering FREE ADMISSION to the first 100 people through the turnstiles. The regular admission price is €15 for adults and €10 for OAP’s/Students with the option of a €5 TOTE betting voucher or €5 food voucher. All accompanied children under 18 are FREE.

Gates open at 12noon and the first race on the day will be at 2pm.

Irish jockeys championship race down to the wire

With the 2011 Flat race Summer Season due to end on Sunday 6th November at Leopardstown, the battle for the Jockeys’ Championship is coming down to the wire with Johnny Murtagh leading Pat Smullen by just two winners (69 to 67). With just 15 race meetings and c. 100 races every race will count.

Johnny Murtagh has been champion on four occasions and has enjoyed another excellent season highlighted by his first victory in the recent Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh on Mark Johnston’s Jukebox Jury (on whom he dead-heated for first place), while just last Saturday he partnered the Ger Lyons trained Lightening Pearl to a thrilling success in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

His great rival, Pat Smullen, has won the Jockeys’ crown on six occasions including last season and once again Pat’s association with the Dermot Weld stable has brought numerous big race successes during the year with Emulous winning the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, while prolific winner Famous Name notched up another four victories at Listed and Group 3 level. Pat also enjoyed a fantastic Galway Festival partnering no fewer than 12 winners over the seven day meeting which is a modern day record and he is sure to push Johnny all the way in what should be a terrific battle over the coming weeks.

Last year’s Apprentice Championship produced the most exciting finish ever with the crown eventually being shared three ways by Joseph O’Brien, Gary Carroll and Ben Curtis but this time round it doesn’t appear there will be a need for a photo-finish as Joseph O’Brien has a comfortable lead after his double at the Curragh yesterday. He currently leads Shane Foley by nine winners (45-36) with Ben Curtis just one back in third place on 35 and is virtually certain to take the crown. Joseph has had a wonderful season with his memorable victory on Roderic O’Connor in the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh in May giving him his first Classic success while he also partnered the talented Maybe to win the Moyglare Stud Stakes over the same course in late August.

Joseph’s father, Aidan O’Brien, has a strong hold on the Trainers’ Championship and he currently holds a sizeable lead over his nearest rival, Dermot Weld in terms of prize money, while he also leads the table in terms of number of winners trained as he has saddled 78 winners to Dermot’s 63. The leading owner is currently Michael Tabor who leads Derrick Smith by €38,000.

Four custom-made perpetual Irish silver trophies that have been made especially for Horse Racing Ireland will be presented to the Champions; these have been made by master craftsmen from Alwright & Marshall, Fade Street, Dublin. Each is set on a mahogany base and engraved with the names of the champion jockeys, trainers, owners and apprentices since 1950. The champions will also receive a hand-made silver tankard with a solid silver horse’s head as its handle to keep as a memento of their achievement.

Last year the Flat Championship ended on Friday 10th December in Dundalk, the Flat season has finished in December since Dundalk opened in 2007. This year the Flat finale is reverting back to its traditional conclusion when the Turf racing comes to an end in Leopardstown on Sunday 6th November 2012. The Louth venue now runs its own Winter Season with a separate Jockeys Championship which starts on Friday 11th November 2011 and runs to Friday 23rd March 2012.

Racing today is at Roscommon, the Grade 3 Kilbegnet Novice Chase is the highlight of an eight-race mixed card where the action gets going at 3.05pm.