Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

O'Brien on verge of matching Kinane

Aidan O'Brien has ridden 114 winners

Joseph O'Brien moved to within one of a long-standing record set by Mick Kinane for the number of winners in an Irish Flat season when partnering Buonarroti to an emphatic success at Tipperary.

Win number 114 for O'Brien could be called some way from home, as the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt stretched readily clear in the Athassel House Stud EBF Maiden having been positively ridden from the off.

The 7-4 favourite was following in the hoofprints of top-class stablemate Leading Light, who won this event 12 months ago.

Kinane's mark of 115 was set in 1993.

The winning rider said: "I thought he would improve a lot from Galway. The lads that ride him at home said he had. He's a nice staying prospect and was impressive."

Captain Cee Bee defied his advancing years to claim a second successive victory in the Friends of Tipperary Hurdle.

Giving weight all round, the Eddie Harty-trained 12-year-old was settled in behind by Mark Walsh before making his move to the outer at the penultimate flight.

He kicked away on the run to the final hurdle and the 15-8 favourite cleared the last in style to land Grade Two honours by five and a half lengths with Midnight Game in second.

Harty said: "He's something else and he's a class horse. There's not much more you can say about him. It might not have been the strongest Grade Two, but it wasn't a bad race. For a horse of his age it's brilliant.

"We'll take a deep breath now and see what's coming up, but we won't go to the well too often."

Rebel Fitz ran out an easy winner of the Like A Butterfly Novice Chase to notch his fifth win on the bounce.

A classy performer over hurdles, Rebel Fitz has made a seamless switch to the larger obstacles and was firmly in control as Barry Geraghty pushed him to the front two fences from home.

A couple of swift jumps saw him well clear after the last and although Owega Star tried his best to reel in the winner, Geraghty was always cruising and scored a facile success aboard Michael Winters' charge.

Winters said: "Barry was delighted with him and he said he won easy enough. He said he switched off today. He's one of the top horses over fences. There's great opportunities and great prize money so we'll tip away.

"He'll go to Cheltenham on Friday week for a two-and-a-half-mile novice chase. Last year we threw him out for three months in the winter, we won't do that this year but he won't be running on the bad ground."

Geraghty said: " Some horses are just natural to chasing and he is one of them and time will tell how far he climbs, but he's as good a novice as you would get."

Sruthan recorded a minor surprise with victory in the Coolmore Stud Home of Champions Concorde Stakes.

Much interest surrounded Irish 1,000 Guineas fourth Big Break, who was having just her third start of the campaign.

All looked to be going well for the 4-5 favourite after collaring the front-running Most Improved two furlongs out, but she was soon joined on her outside by the Paul Deegan-trained Sruthan (11-2) under the in-form Chris Hayes.

The latter edged into an advantage over a furlong out and kept on all the way to the line to hold Big Break by three-quarters of a length.

King Of The Picts bagged a Grade Three prize in the Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle.

Tracking the pace set by Un Beau Roman who had opened up a sizeable early advantage, as the pack closed the Pat Shanahan-trained King Of The Picts (12-1) took a narrow advantage at the second-last.

He still just had the edge at the last and cleared away from it well before holding the running-on joint-favourite Que Pasa by a length and a half.

Shanahan said: "He loves jumping and he's a real natural at it. He's not a good work horse at home so we wanted to run him here to see how good he was.

"He'll go to the Cheltenham meeting in November."

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre