Charles Byrnes and Tony Martin have long been recognised as two of the shrewdest trainers in Ireland, and both were on the mark with well executed gambles, on the opening day of Killarney’s May Festival.
Limerick based Byrnes won the opening race of the meeting with the ex English flat racer,Scottish Boogie. The Paddy Wilmott owned 4-y-o was quoted at 11/2 when bookmakers initially priced up this race but a flurry of money saw his odds cut to 7/4f by the off.Davy Russell always had matters under control and quickened up cheekily close home to claim the spoils.
Martin’s Sensational Sema was an even bigger gamble,backed from 16/1 in the morning into an sp of 9/2. The first reserve made the lineup and Ruby Walsh got the leg up. The combination had to work hard to overtake the front running Mubrook, but had a half length to spare at the death. The trainer had a double on the afternoon, with Psycho proving much too strong for his opponents in the Conditions Chase.
Princeton Plains won the Listed handicap hurdle for Eddie Harty, after fighting back to get on top of Idarah on the line. Only a head separated the two at the finish and the JP McManus owned horse showed real battling qualities. His attitude had been questioned in the past but he proved here that he has the stomach for a fight.
Elsewhere on the card, Ross Na Righ got off the mark in the maiden hurdle,Benalma claimed the handicap chase and Owega Star was a shock 16/1 winner of the concluding bumper.