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Shanahan gets off the mark

Pat Shanahan landed his first victory as a trainer when Prince Jock took the Campile Apprentice Handicap at Wexford in the hands of Ronan Whelan.

The former top jockey, who won the Irish Derby on Zagreb for Dermot Weld in 1996, retired earlier this year and operates from a base at Danesfort in County Kilkenny.

The five-year-old Prince Jock is owned by Thistle Bloodstock and was ridden by Shanahan many times earlier in his career, including when winning three times, and did really well to overcome a bad draw in stall 14 in the extended mile event.

He raced in second for much of the way and looked to be struggling at one point, but Whelan stuck to his task and the 4-1 favourite emerged from a four-horse line at the final elbow to stride two lengths clear.

Shanahan said: "It's great to get that monkey off my back. He likes a break between his races and is best when fresh. He'll probably run again in three to four weeks. I have 17 in training at the moment, but the gate is always open for new horses!"

The in-form Dermot Weld picked up another prize when Voleuse De Coeurs (13-8 favourite) took the Barrow Rated Race, though he had to be rousted along by Pat Smullen in the end to hold Zabana's challenge by a length and a quarter.

The jockey, who went on to a double with James Nash's Star Of Aragon (3-1) in the Owenduff Handicap, said: "Voleuse De Coeur's last run was very good and I thought if she handled the ease in the ground she'd win."

Tommy Stack's three-year-old Time Of My Life showed nothing in three starts as a juvenile, ending with last place in a Dundalk sprint, and turned up for the near mile-and-a-half Black Point Handicap at the bottom of the weights.

Heavily backed into evens favourite, he could not have won any easier, careering away under Wayne Lordan to score by 15 lengths.

The jockey said: "Time Of My Life improved with the step up in trip and did well over the winter. He was a weak looking horse last year. I don't know where he'll go next."


From Belfast Telegraph