Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Merv on Song for Down Royal

Trainer Mervyn Torrens has a great chance of success with Song Of Pride in the Duke Of York Handicap Hurdle at Down Royal tonight.

Song Of Pride won at Down Royal’s July meeting and could be the one to follow again tonight.

Sioduil may produce the goods for Jim Bolger in the Mirror Handicap, while Noel Meade’s Chip Tea is expected to go close in the November Hurdle.

Holy Road (16/1) caused a major upset in the Betdaq.com Hurdle at Bellewstown last night when defeating the long odds-on favourite, Galway Hurdle third Lucky Wish.

Barry Geraghty was powerless to respond on Eoin Griffin's struggling market leader when Eddie Power went past on his inside two out, guiding Andrew Slattery's charge home to a three-length victory.

Slattery said: “He was off the track for three years after he broke his two front legs.

“He came back with two good runs, he got taken on in front the last day and couldn't relax. Hopefully the handicapper won't be too hard on us after that.”

Liz Doyle's On Your Way recorded his first success since 2005 to take the Murphy Environmental Mullaghcurry Cup Handicap Hurdle in fine style.

The Andrew Thornton-ridden 10-year-old revelled in the testing ground to build on his recent second over fences at Tramore, with the 12/1 chance beating Takendo.

Noel Meade's Asigh Pearl ran out a facile winner of the McCabes Garage Drogheda Mares Maiden Hurdle. Paul Carberry oozed confidence throughout on the five-year-old, who had fallen while in with a chance on her last start.

“I was worried about the ground, the fact she fell the last day and of Otterstown Lady (unplaced) but she jumped poor and I'm the worst tipster,” said Meade of the 7/4 favourite.

Charles Byrnes' Deal Or No Deal (7/4 favourite) justified strong market support in the AIB Balbriggan Skerries Rush Handicap Hurdle with a comfortable eight-length success.

Both Richard Hughes and Eddie Ahern will miss the St Leger meeting next month after being handed 16-day suspensions by the British Horseracing Authority's disciplinary panel yesterday.

The bans were inevitable once both men triggered the totting-up procedure with recent careless riding offences, having already amassed 24 enforced days off in the past 12 months.

Hughes is second behind Ryan Moore in the jockeys' table and is currently heading for his best year with 111 wins at a 20 per cent strike rate.

In the past 16 days he has had 73 mounts at 16 different meetings and won on 14 of them, including Big Audio, whose right-hand drift when scoring at Salisbury took his rider over the threshold to yesterday's punishment.

Biniou, a winner three times this year, due to run at the Curragh on Sunday and fancied for the season's top sprint handicap, next month's Ayr Gold Cup, died yesterday after fracturing an ankle bone on the Newmarket gallops.

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