Henry de Bromhead, fresh from his two-timer at the Cheltenham festival, struck with Aerclub in the Love Your Mum Median Auction Race for three-year-olds on the all-weather track at Dundalk on Friday afternoon.
Aerclub was always well positioned under Wayne Lordan and the market-leader made his way to the front inside the two-furlong marker to beat Point Reyes by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
Aerclub, also a winner over this same one-mile distance here at Dundalk in November, is now likely to be upped in grade.
Jockey Wayne Lordan was happy with Aerclub’s performance.
“He’s a nice horse. Henry liked him the first day he ran and he won well. He felt like he’s after improving since then. He’s a fine big horse, he went to the line well and he’s very likeable.
“I think he could be a stakes horse. He’d give you all the vibes that he’s going that way.
“I thought it was a good performance and you’d be happy with him.
“After we went a furlong I thought the race steadied, he has a big huge stride on him and is an easy traveller so that’s maybe why he got keen. In a better race you could ride him whatever way you’d like.”
Earlier in the week there were two domestic race meetings down for decision on Tuesday, St Patrick’s Day – and Paul Nolan sent out Fine Theatre to win the featured Arctic Tack Stud Veterans Handicap Chase at Wexford.
The 10-year-old Fine Theatre, who came into this €40, 000 race with a mark of 123, was always well positioned and he was sent to the front by talented five lb claimer Sean O’Keeffe at the third fence. Whilst ridden on the incline from two out, the blinkered Fine Theatre was in no mood to be denied in the closing stages and he ultimately accounted for Scoir Mear by three-and-a-quarter lengths in the colours of Mrs Kay Browne from Waterford city.
Handler Nolan, who sent out Latest Exhibition to finish second in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham the previous week, should sample further success with Fine Theatre between now and the end of the season.
Willie Mullins, who was the leading handler at Cheltenham as he was responsible for seven winners, continued his present purple patch by saddling Getaway Gorgeous to win the Wexford Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.
Getaway Gorgeous, who was sent off the 4/7 favourite, disputed the running from three out and she held on admirably in the closing stages to thwart My Midnight by a half-length.
There was also racing at Down Royal on Tuesday and Philip Fenton’s Groody Rover continued his clear upward trajectory by landing the Cleary Contracting Ltd Novice Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Brian Hayes.
In short, Groody Rover destroyed the opposition as the former point-to-pointer made all the running and he powered clear from two out to contain Magic Sea by 11 lengths in the colours of his handler’s wife Patricia Hogan.
Youghal native Denis O’Regan teamed up with Gordon Elliott to win the Racing TV Chase with the 2018 Thyestes Chase winner Monbeg Notorious.
The 140-rated Monbeg Notorious, who was visored, led from half-way in this extended three and a quarter mile contest and he overcame drifting slightly left-handed on the run-in to edge out his stable-companion Jury Duty by two and a half lengths.
Monbeg Notorious could possibly now run in the Irish Grand National, provided that the Fairyhouse event goes ahead on Easter Monday.
Meanwhile, the Grade 3 Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase over two-and-a-quarter miles occupied centre stage at Thurles on Saturday and Zero Ten won this €55, 000 contest under his trainer Emmet Mullins’ first-cousin David Mullins.
Zero Ten, sporting the familiar silks of Mrs Annette Mee, struck the front two out and the winning son of Shantou seemed to be containing the pursuing Cut The Mustard when that rival departed the scene at the final fence. Zero Ten, who was posting a sixth track success, was then left clear to beat Dunvegan by 14 lengths. Zero Ten has now most meritoriously amassed over €130, 000 in prizemoney earnings.
Joseph O’Brien meanwhile got amongst the winners at the north Co Tipperary track by sending out Thermistocles to win the Horse & Jockey Beginners Chase.
Thermistocles assumed command for JJ Slevin before the final fence to see off Myth Buster by one and a half lengths.