Gordon Elliott’s prolific form shows no sign of slowing down after bringing up a ‘Perfect 10′ weekend.
The season’s leading trainer had five winners split between Punchestown and Cork on Sunday, 24 hours after he’d notched another nap-hand with a flat success at Lingfield on top of a four-timer on Day One of Punchestown’s new ‘winter Festival.’
That Elliott’s own idea of his best chance on Sunday, Shecouldbeanything, started 8-15 and couldn’t even hit the frame in a Listed Mares Hurdle underlined what continues to be a rare November hot streak.
Another reminder that short odds represent no guarantee of success came with Imagine’s narrow victory in the Grade Two Craddockstown Novice Chase.
The 3-10 favourite had just three to beat but required all Jack Kennedy’s strength and skill to hold off Lucid Dreams and Uncle Phil in a thrilling finish.
It brought up a Punchestown hat-trick for Elliott and Kennedy and it seems safe to predict a hike in trip will be next for Imagine.
“He’s a nice horse and probably wants further. Two and a half miles would probably suit him better,” Elliott said. “The Grade One in Limerick at Christmas could be an option or we might bring him to Kempton on Boxing Day for the Grade One (Kauto Star Chase.)
After Shannon Royale upset the 1-8 Tullyhill in a maiden hurdle, the Elliott-Kennedy team also struck in handicap hurdle with Bob Cigar. Jordan Gainford did the steering on Tactical Affair and Halka Du Tarbet in Cork.
Henry de Bromhead’s French-import Hispanic Moon was the one to take most advantage of Shecouldbeanything’s earlier flop.
A winner of six races in France, including a Grade Three chase last year, Hispanic Moon made a mockery of 20-1 odds on her Irish debut to beat Sylavee comfortably.
With Rachael Blackmore opting for her unplaced stable companion Rioga Choice, Darragh O’Keeffe did the steering on the winner who got 25-1 quotes for Cheltenham’s Mares Hurdle in March.
“She’s a gorgeous-looking mare and I’m delighted with her today. I’d say that’s as short as she’d want and hopefully a step up in trip will suit her,” de Bromhead said.
In other news, a senior racing official at the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board will investigate a reported altercation between trainer Thomond O’Mara and Cork’s clerk of the course Paul Moloney on Sunday.
Moloney told the Cork stewards of an altercation between himself and O’Mara as he was coming off the track after the third race. He said he was verbally and physically abused by O’Mara.
A Stewards report outlined how Moloney stated he was approached by O’Mara who became “increasingly abusive and aggressive towards him which resulted in Mr. O’Mara becoming physical”.
An IHRB security official outlined how he tried to make contact with O’Mara to ask him to attend the Stewards room but the trainer let it be known he wouldn’t. The race day Stewards referred the matter on to a Senior Racing Official for further investigation.