Cloud makes a monkey of better fancied rivals
The Willie McCreery-trained newcomer Cloud Monkey proved a shock winner of the Irish Stallion Farms Maiden in Dundalk last night.
Three horses dominated the betting for the five-runner affair. But it was 25/1 shot Cloud Money, challenging on the inside of frontrunning Sinour, which got up close home to triumph by a head, giving apprentice Shane Kelly, who enjoyed tremendous success with Richard Fahey in England and now works for McCreery, with his first winner in Ireland.
McCreery explained: “I’ve always liked this horse and I was tempted to enter him for the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, but I didn’t want to put the kibosh on him. He’s still a big baby and this was a nice introduction for him. I’m not sure where he’ll go next.”
Trainer Eddie Lynam saddled two of the three runners for the opening Group Discounts At Dundalk Claiming Race and duly provided a predictable one-two as 4/9 favourite Akasaka beat stable-companion Muck ‘N’ Brass (Wayne Lordan) by a length.
“On ratings, it made sense to run both horses,” commented Lynam. “Other trainers don’t like claimers. But it’s a good shop-window and the horses are there to be claimed.”
Runner-up Muck ‘N’ Brass was subsequently claimed for 25,000 by Breen White, a patron of trainer John Larkin, who later saddled House Limit (Ben Curtis) to deny Pivotal Rock back-to-back wins in the Dundalk Stadium On Facebook Handicap.
Fran Berry completed a double when Hot Bed, having his first run since being gelded, continued David Wachman’s excellent 2013 record in Dundalk by bagging the featured Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Package Handicap.
“He picked up and kept going well,” commented Berry. “David was right about him — he said he’d love the fast surface and run well fresh.”
On a disappointing night for Joseph O’Brien, 1/2 shot League Of Nations was turned over, narrowly, by the Kevin Prendergasttrained Caged Lightning — an eight-race maiden last season — ridden by Chris Hayes in the mile maiden.
Prendergast’s apprentice Gary Halpin, who lost his 10lb. claim on board Maude Adams at the Curragh on Sunday, was on the mark again when partnering the Tracey Collins-trained 3/1 favourite Indiana Charmer to an all-the-way win over Todd in the www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap.
The well-backed, John McConnell-trained Phebes Wish swooped late under Gary Carroll to collar trail-blazing fellow jointfavourite Pre Tax Profit in the finale, the Racing At Dundalk Handicap.