Offiah touches down in Roscommon to secure Ger Lyons’s 1,000th winner

Trainer reaches landmark figure 27 years on from his first winner at Navan

Ger Lyons reached a landmark 1,000 career winners as Offiah struck at Roscommon on Monday.

Lyons sent out his first winner at Navan in October 1994, and Royal Ascot success came in 2007 through Elletelle in the Queen Mary, ridden by Johnny Murtagh. It was also Murtagh in the saddle when Lightening Pearl won the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in 2011.

The Co Meath trainer last year enjoyed his first two Classic victories, courtesy of Siskin in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Even So in the Irish Oaks – both ridden Colin Keane, with whom he has forged a formidable partnership.

Fittingly it was champion jockey Keane – who reached the fastest century of winners ever for a rider in Ireland at the weekend – doing the steering aboard 5-1 chance Offiah in the Class Grass Handicap, coming home three and a quarter lengths clear of favourite Big Baby Bull.


Shane Lyons is assistant to his brother at Glenburnie Stables and said: "Ger is so dedicated. He just loves animals and that shines through with certain horses, especially this lad. He just gets into their heads and fills them with loads of confidence.

“In our yard they are happy horses. Happy staff make happy horses and vice versa.

“He doesn’t copy what other trainers do, he thinks outside the box. Sometimes you think ‘this lad is losing it’, but all of a sudden you realise none of us would have thought of that with certain genius things that he does.

“It’s been a great ride and it will be a long ride for the next 1,000, but hopefully we are still there for it!

"We're delighted to get it in Roscommon as well as it's a very lucky track for us. Michael Finneran and his crew are very good to us and have great facilities which they are always upgrading.

“It’s a front-runner’s track, but Colin was very good on this horse. He nicks lengths on bends and is riding with so much confidence.

"The horse was threatening to do that for a long time and it's great for Seán Jones and David Spratt to be part of this historic winner."

Elsewhere on the card, Corviglia could have booked her place on Irish Champions Weekend in comfortably landing a second career success.

The Listed Ingabelle Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown on September 11th is a potential target, after the daughter of Karakontie dispensed with the opposition in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Race.

Making all the running, the Jessica Harrington-trained filly stayed on strongly to beat Gwan So by four lengths, with Tuwaiq three and a half lengths away in third, following up her win at Leopardstown last month.

Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother, said: "Her form has worked out with the filly that was second to her [Limiti Di Greccio] winning next time at Leopardstown.

“Her work at home has come forward and mum will have a chat with Alan [Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family] and the team to see where they want to go next.

“I’d imagine the Listed Ingabelle Stakes at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend could be next for her.

“She’s from a lovely family and the dam is a sister to the Oaks winner Light Shift.”