Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Halford and Foley double up

Shane Foley

Mick Halford and Shane Foley combined for a double at Dundalk initiated by the success of 1-2 favourite Opera Gloves in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The daughter of Dalakhani went into many notebooks when an unfortunate third on her debut at the track last month after being slowly away, and she raced much more prominently this time.

However, she still looked green and must have had supporters watching anxiously before she picked up well to beat market rival Mischief N Mayhem by a length.

Halford said: "She's very genuine and tough. She didn't have the best of draws, but Shane was always happy with her and she was well on top at the line. She'll stay well next season. She's not the biggest but is fierce genuine."

The trainer and jockey doubled up when Alvar (14-1) got up right on the line to edge top-weight Ocean Drift by a nose in the second division of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Package Handicap.

Another trainer in form was Tracey Collins, who completed a brace when Captain Joy defied a 6lb rise in the ratings for a victory a fortnight ago in the Christmas Race & Dine Packages Handicap.

The race developed into a duel and it was only in the final 50 yards that the grey (6-4 favourite) managed to overhaul Akasaka to score by half a length in the hands of champion apprentice Ronan Whelan.

The trainer said: "The horses are running well and I must say a big thanks to the owners. They have all been very patient as the horses needed good ground and they allowed me to run them here. The key to this horse is that he needs a good surface. Ronan gave him a good ride."

The Floodlit Friday Nights At Dundalk Rated Race proved easy for stablemate Beat The Ballot (2-1 favourite), who travelled sweetly in second for Joseph O'Brien before asserting for a length and a half victory. It was the jockey's first success since being crowned champion.

Willie Martin's Farmleigh House (6-5 favourite) faced much the same horses in the Dundalk Stadium Light Up Your Night Handicap as when he won last month, and an 8lb hike made no difference as he came from last to first under Niall McCullagh to score by a length and a half.