What a glorious day was put on the
start of spring and the Irish Jumps Jockey Challenge race meeting.
A massive crowd turned out for one of the headline meetings of the year
and they were not disappointed. In the first race it was only a
small field with St Fraser going to the early leading from Assertive
Eagle with Belfast Boy third. St Fraser and Assertive Eagle
continued to match strides to the turn as Kosciuszko's Side made a run
on the outside from Belfast Boy. In the straight Assertive Eagle
took a clear lead but was soon challenged by Kosciuszko's Side.
By the 200m St Fraser started to run on along the inside again as
Disquiet started to make ground out wider. Inside the final 100m
St Fraser was well in front and held on to win from Disquiet with
Assertive Eagle holding third.
The first jumps event of the day was the Leslie Short Steeplechase where
Rabbuka went to the early lead from Yesquire (the most experienced horse
in the field having his 26th start after winning 5 and being placed 8
times previously), who soon raced alongside, and Gravitas as Highly
Spirited showed no speed on the flat at the tail. Little changed
to the post on the first lap until the next jump where Yesquire jumped
awkwardly an unseated his rider leaving Rabbuka in front from Gravitas
with Highly Spirited tailed off third. Riderless Yesquire moved up
wide on the track to be alongside Rabbuka despite the option to run off
that turn with Gravitas in close attendance. Over the next two
jumps Yesquire led narrowly from Rabbuka with Gravitas next and Highly
Spirited in a race of his own. Past the 1000m Yesquire kicked well
clear and was still clearing the obstacles with style despite plenty of
opportunity to run off to the outside as Gravitas joined Rabbuka.
Over the fourth last jump Rabbuka outjumped Gravitas to take control
again while the riderless Yesquire led well in front and Highly Spirited
was still a long way back in third. Around the home turn Yesquire
decided he'd had enough jumping and went to the outside rail to lead the
field home as Rabbuka put a break on Gravitas then Highly Spirited more
than a jump behind. In the home straight Rabbuka raced away
cleraing the last two effortlessly to win from Gravitas with Highly
Spirited third. Rabbuka took his record to 18 jumps starts for 3
wins and 6 placings while Gravitas was also having his 18th start over
the jumps in running second.
In the next Maybe Discreet led
Written off then back to Hioctdane and Bellchuca. Before the turn
Bellchuca raced to the lead from Maybe Discreet then Written Off
followed by the tightly packed field. Turning for home Maybe
Discreet fought back strongly to draw level with Bellchuca with Written
off moving up wider. Inside the final 100m Bellchuca started to
come away passing the post 2 lengths ahead of Maybe Discreet with a
similar margin back to Darcy's Folly third.
The second and last of the jumps races in the Irish Jockey Challenge was
race four where a field of 7 lined up in the Leslie Short Hurdle.
Groenenboom having his 8th run over jumps went to the early lead from
End of Time and Forty Twenty around Lord of the Song then General
Mackjosh. In the home straight the first time Groenenboom
led General Mackjosh goingup around End of Time then Forty Twenty.
Little changed until the jump at the 1400m where Groenenboom led from
Lord of the Song going up around General Mackjosh then Forty Twenty and
End of Time. By the 800m Lord of the Song made his run to
chase Groenenboom who was coming back to the field then general Mackjosh
followed by Forty Twenty then End of Time. Around the home turn
Lord of teh Song got the better of Groenenboom followed by General
Mackjosh then Forty Twenty. In the straight the race was beyond
doubt as Lord of the Song cleared the last two fence to go on to an easy
victory from Groenenboom with End of Time third.
The Irish had gone into today's races
with a lead after Murray Bridge during the week and duly finished first
and second in the steeplechase. Australia was first and second in the
hurdle but it was too little and the Irish team was awarded the victory.
The next race saw Sheez on Top lead from Miss Otto with Spinning Diamond
on the rails in third position. Around the turn Sheez on Top led
but Spinning Diamond soon put in her claim while Stella Lante ran on
down the outside. Inside the final 200m Spinning Diamond took the
lead and in the run to the line defied Stella Lante's late challenge to
win with Sheez on Top holding on for third. Crabs was
too good in the next winning from Our Sphinx and Tsarina Wonder.
In race 7 it was a two horse war in the final stages where Mahmentum got
the bob in to win by a nose from Ring Me Not with Sysmo making up late
ground for third. In the last Snip 'n' Run was too good for Marina
Del Rey with Al Juman third.
Due to equestrian commitments there will be no write up next week of the