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Record temperatures as crowds return to Ballinrobe Races


UP AND OVER The Dara Man (in the green and yellow silks) about to take up the running in The Mayo News Maiden Hurdle before going on to win the race under jockey Shane Fitzgerald. Pic: Conor McKeown

The Dara Man wins The Mayo News Maiden Hurdle

Michael Duffy

For the first time in nearly 20 months, the racing public returned to Ballinrobe with the lifting of Covid restrictions allowing some 300 punters through the gates of Mayo’s only racecourse last Tuesday afternoon.
And what a return it was, as the mercury on track touched close to 30 degrees Celsius with not a cloud in the sky for a quality eight race National Hunt card.
With the weather so hot, extensive watering had to take place at track to make the ground ‘Good’ and all trainers and jockeys were highly complimentary of the work done by Racecourse manager John Flannelly and his staff.
Indeed, speaking to host Fran Berry on the excellent coverage of the meeting on Racing TV, trainer Philip Rothwell explained how accommodating the staff at Ballinrobe were to him.
He left his base in Wicklow at 8pm on Monday to avoid travelling in the excessive heat with the horses and arrived in Ballinrobe after midnight. “The track was hugely accommodating,” he observed, and he went on to record two wins on the track, with Union Park winning by some nine lengths in the West Tyre Ballinrobe and Westport Handicap Hurdle at odds of 8/1, and Oscer Romero also obliging in the Boyle Sports Handicap Hurdle.
Earlier in the card, The Mayo News was once again delighted to continue its long running association with Ballinrobe Racecourse by sponsoring the second race on the card, The Mayo News Maiden Hurdle.
The race was won by the well-backed favourite The Dara Man, trained by John Patrick Ryan, who has a superb record around Ballinrobe in recent years. The affable Tipperary man went on to emulate Rothwell and record a double also, when his The Little Yank came with a late run under Bryan Cooper to collar the favourite Persia in the Brewin Dolphin Novice Hurdle.
The other four winners on a fabulous evening’s racing were Na Caith Tabac in the opening Corrigan’s Ballintubber Stores Maiden Hurdle, winning in the Mayo colours of owner Philip Carney; Mullaghmore Wave and Jubatus in the two divisions of the Sweeney Oil Handicap, and Lispendense in the On Course Vets bumper, who won by 14 length under Patrick Mullins for Kildare based trainer Denis Cullen.

Two meetings left
There are two meetings left this season at Ballinrobe Racecourse and there is hope that larger crowds may be allowed to attend those meetings on Monday, August 9 and Friday, September 10. For the Monday, August 9 meeting, the first race is off at 4.45pm and tickets will go on sale online on Friday, August 6 at 10am.

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