RACING | Hat-trick of winners for Keane at Dundalk Stadium

Trainer Ger Lyons celebrates a double

Colin Keane was a three-time winner at Dundalk Stadium on Saturday night. PICTURE: Patrick McCann

Mist was rolling in from the Cooley Mountains as the action came to a close at Dundalk Stadium on Friday night where the punters in attendance were treated to some good racing.

Making the headlines on the night was Colin Keane, who rode three winners, two of them for his boss, Ger Lyons.

Colin’s first win came in the Dundalk Stadium Business Club 2017 Claiming Race when, in a driving finish — four heads separated the first five horses home — the well-backed Rivellino just held on from Master Bond and Arlecchino’s Rock, who were both subsequently claimed and will race for new stables.

After being narrowly denied a win in the next race, the six-furlong handicap, when Ger Lyons’ Buddha Boy was beaten a neck by the Patrick Prendergast-trained Brave Display, who was ridden by Ronan Whelan, Colin got his second winner when Harbour Beacon won the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Median Auction Maiden in the colours of Qatar Racing.

Harbour Beacon brought solid maiden form into the race and won in the style of a progressive colt on what was his first run as a three-year-old.

Colin completed his treble, and Ger Lyons his double, when Glastonbury Song, who travelled well during the race, gradually reeled in the front-running Aidan O’Brien-trained Asking before asserting in the final furlong in the third Irish Stallion Farms EBF-sponsored race of the night, eventually winning by two-and-a-half lengths.

Glastonbury Song won his maiden at Dundalk before finishing fifth in a Listed race at Leopardstown on his seasonal return on April 8th. He carries the familiar colours of owner Sean Jones and his young sons Eddie and James were on hand to receive the winner’s trophy. The winner, who still holds an entry for the Irish 2,000 Guineas, looks ready for another step up in class.

The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund (EBF) sponsored three races on the night and the Irish EBF manager Nessa Joyce was on hand to present the trophies for each of them and explain how the Irish EBF works.

The Irish Stallion Farms EBF is Ireland’s largest sponsor; its prize-money contribution in 2017 will be €2million, with a total of 350 races being involved.

The opening race of the night, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF race, for two-year-olds, was won in good style by the Fozzy Stack-trained Sirici, who followed up her course success of two weeks ago, in which she also beat runner-up, Spirit Power. In third was the well-supported Aidan O’Brien-trained newcomer Mount Wellington, a strongly-made son of Invincible Spirit that cost €475,000 as a yearling.

The card’s 12-furlong handicap saw Ruby Gates gain reward for consistency by winning for Joseph O’Brien and his brother, jockey Donnacha O’Brien, while Arbourfield was an emphatic winner of the card’s finale, the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Handicap, in the hands of champion jockey Pat Smullen.

Trained by Prunella Dobbs and owned by her husband George, Arbourfield was gaining a fifth course win, those victories having come in his last 11 visits to Dundalk, which is an impressive strike-rate.

The penultimate race on the card, the mile handicap, produced another thrilling finish, with Our Max winning by a short head from dead-heaters USA and Queluz.

The winner is trained by Georgios Pakidis and owned by Patrick and Colette McCann and was gaining his first victory at Dundalk, his two previous wins having come on the beach at Laytown.

The curtain will rise again for horse racing at Dundalk on Wednesday May 10th, quickly followed by Friday May 12th, after which there will be a break until Wednesday July 12th. Greyhound racing will continue each week on Friday and Saturday.

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