Wicklow Brave a bitter disappointment at Fairyhouse on Sunday
HORSE RACING can be a game of mixed fortunes at times and when your lucks out, it’s out. Leading Irish owner Barry Connell must surely be ruing his luck lately.
First off, he chose to withdraw leading Cheltenham contender, The Tullow Tank, due to the controversy that was surrounding his trainer, Philip Fenton, at the time.
Now, nobody forced him to do this, but he must have felt that given what was going on at the time, that, were the horse to win, his victory might have been questioned.
On to the festival itself and he lost one of the best horses in his ownership, Our Connor. He had shelled out a considerable sum for the horse who had created a big impression at the previous years festival. For him not to witness him winning a race in his colours was another blow.
Then on Saturday, he would surely have had a tinge of regret when Pineau De Re ran out a comprehensive winner of the Grand National.
When the horse won last year’s Ulster National, he was in his ownership. After the race, the horse was sold on to England.
It was unusual at the time because he is a buyer and not generally known for selling horses he owns. As to why exactly he sold it on, we can only speculate, but watching him win Saturday’s big one must have been a bitter-sweet moment for him.
Speaking of Pineau De Re, congratulations must go to our columnist, Philip Rothwell, who tipped the 25/1 winner in his column last week.
Closer to home there was good racing in both codes over the weekend. On Sunday, Fairyhouse played host to a quality Jumps card which featured a Grade 1 and three Grade 2s.
The feature race on the card, the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Mares Novice Hurdle Championship final, was won in impressive fashion by the Willie Mullins trained, Adriana Des Mottes.
Mullins saddled top class mare, Annie Power, to land the race last year and he looks to have another classy mare on his hands with this winner.
However in the day’s other feature race, the Mullins team were out of luck when Wicklow Brave was a bitter disappointment in the Grade 2 Novice Hurdle.
He had run a blinder in the Supreme Novice at Cheltenham and prior to that he had won six on the bounce so perhaps he had done his winning for the season.
The headlines on the level over the weekend were taken by the Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning combo, who enjoyed five winners. Next week’s action comes from Limerick, Wexford, Navan, Tramore, and the Curragh.