‘Genie’ leads the way in Gigginstown four-timer
A GENIE IN ABOTTLE put up a game front-running performance to land the odds in the MW Hickey Memorial Chase at Wexford, where owners Gigginstown House Stud dominated the card with a four-timer.
Successful on his reappearance at Galway three weeks ago, Noel Meade’s six-year-old kept on strongly for Sean Flanagan when challenged to score by a length and a half from Tiger Roll and give Gigginstown a one-two.
Flanagan said of the 1/2 favourite: “He is a funny sort, he always holds on to a little bit.
“We were worried there wasn’t going to be a lot of pace, similar to the last day he ran. You can be forceful away on him because he is never going to do too much.
“We were a bit disappointed after he was beaten when favourite in the four-miler at Cheltenham. But funnily enough he just mightn’t stay four miles. He is a backward sort of lad but we can’t knock him yet anyway.”
Gigginstown repeated the trick when Gordon Elliott’s Dinaria Des Obeaux (2/1), ridden by Jack Kennedy, edged out Le Martalin for the Meade-Flanagan combination in the Beginners’ Chase.
Kennedy said: “We flew around and I was going as fast as I could the whole way. She stayed going and stuck at it well. She probably wants a bit further. She couldn’t have done much more there now, she was very tough and kept at it.”
A treble for Gigginstown was initiated by Henry de Bromhead’s High School Days (5/2), which followed up her Gowran success with a tidy fivelength verdict under 7lb claimer Chris Meehan in the First For Racing Footage In Ireland Hurdle, while Imperial Way (5/4) completed a fine afternoon’s work in the Jim Whitty Memorial Flat Race under Patrick Mullins.
Mullins said of the Joseph O’Brientrained winner: “I think he is a horse who will be better over a jump and the further he goes the better, I’d say. I think they’ll have a lot of fun with him.”
O’Brien topped and tailed the card, having taken the opening Nick O’Donnell Memorial Maiden Hurdle with Early Doors (4/6 favourite).
Ricky Doyle had a red-letter day of his own with his first double on Antimatter and Come Home Quick.
The 22-year-old conditional struck first on Antimatter (7/2) in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, which won despite trainer Donnacha Duggan’s worries about the conditions.
Doyle recovered from getting a knock on the head from Come Home Quick to get the Mick Fahey-trained 16/1 shot up in the shadow of the post in the Wexford Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Maiden Hurdle.
“She was a bit of handful beforehand,” he said. “She gave me a whack in the head at the start and left me counting the stars!”
A Genie In Abottle, with Sean Flanagan up, on the way to winning the MW Hickey Memorial Chase at Wexford