Happy new year for Hogan
RACING at Dundalk in 2019 began with a win for the Denis Hogan-trained Amanaat (8/1), who swept smoothly through the field in the hands of Donagh O’Connor to land the BetVictor Handicap in good style.
The James McAuley-owned six-year-old gelding also won at Dundalk in November and, having won so well tonight, a quick return to the venue wouldn’t be a surprise.
Just like the opening-race winner, Northern Surprise came from out of the clouds in the second race, a mile handicap, to register a 20/1 success in the hands of Emma-Louise Doyle, who was having her first-ever ride in a race.
Emma is the daughter of winning owner Claire and winning trainer Tim Doyle who, for good measure, was also responsible for the runner-up in the race, Spanish Soprano.
A delighted Emma said afterwards: ‘He likes to come wide and kept picking up for me – I can’t believe it!’ Just 19, she is currently studying for a business degree at Maynooth College.
Second at Dundalk on his latest start, Roger That (5/1) went one better tonight in holding off the 11/8 favourite Empire Line to win the card’s six-furlong maiden. Having set a calendar-year training record of 36 Dundalk winners in Leading Greyhound Owner and Private Trainer 2018 with 34 and 39 wins respectively Paul Whyte is presented with both trophies by Dundalk Stadium CEO Jim Martin and Margaret Kavanagh, Racing Manager.
2018, Joseph O’Brien running for 2019.
Multiple-champion trainer at Dundalk, Michael Halford, also wasted no time in getting off the mark for 2019 when Ahlan Bil Zain (4/1) ran out an easy winner of the seven-furlong handicap in the hands of Ben Coen. In doing so, the five-year-old registered a third win from his last five runs at the stadium.
Ben said afterwards: ‘He’s improved a lot and is turning into a lovely horse. He loves it here. He
is up and
took off when a gap appeared.’
Most people felt that Markhan had won the 12-furlong handicap for Gordon Elliott but the photo-print revealed that Park Row (7/1) had prevailed by a nose for the father and son team of trainer Denis and jockey Ross Coakley.
Park Row has now won five times at Dundalk and four times from nine runs since joining Denis.
Having finished third in each of her last two races, the Gavin Cromwell-trained Ciao, who was racing in blinkers for the first time,
ran out a ready winner of the 10.5-furlong maiden in the hands of Robbie Colgan. Her career is clearly on an upward curve. Winning owner Martin Hannan is from Sligo, hence the filly’s racing colours.
The first division of the 10.5-furlong BetVictor Handicap saw a return to form of Duke Of Waspington (11/2), who pounced late under promising apprentice Gavin Ryan to score by a head from the 15/8 favourite Spanish Dawn.
The winner was rated ten- pounds higher in the spring than tonight and trainer Pat Murphy has clearly found the key to the lightly-raced six-year-old, who was winning for the first time.
Division two of the race went to Ragtime Red (10/1), who came with a sweeping run under Danny Sheehy inside the final two furlongs to reverse recent form with runner-up McGuigan and win by a length and a half for trainer Anthony McCann in the distinctive colours of the popular Rita Shah.
Eight races on the night pro- duced eight different winning trainers and eight different winning jockeys. A very equitable way to begin the new year at Dundalk.
The next meeting is scheduled for Friday January 11th with a start time of 5:30pm (5pm if a race divides, which is entirely possible given the demand for racing at the track).
The card will include two €25,000 races - the one-mile Dundalk Stadium Rated Race and the two-mile Follow @DundalkStadium on Twitter Handicap.
Leading Public Trainer 2018 Damian Maginn with 46 wins and Ryan Kearney are presented with the trophy by Jim Martin and Margaret Kavanagh.