Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2016 Contents Punchestown hero Risk Of
Thunder, owned by actor Sean
Connery and credited with
injecting huge interest into
cross-country racing in Ireland,
has died at the age of 27.
He won the La Touche Cup
at the Punchestown Festival a
record seven times and spent
his retirement at JP McManus s
Martinstown Stud in County
Limerick, where he was the
companion of triple Champion
Hurdle hero Istabraq.
The son of Strong Gale was
trained for most of his racing
career by Enda Bolger.
He landed Punchestown s
most famous banks contest
from 1995 to 2002 inclusive, the
race not being run in 2001.
Bolger rode the horse to three
of his successes in that race.
He said: "It s very sad news.
He was a terrific horse and his
jumping was his forte. He got
all the people excited to go and
watch him jump in those banks
races. He made those races pop-
ular, his jumping was so flam-
boyant and people started to
warm to those races again.
"To win that race seven times
in a row, the La Touche Cup,
was an unbelievable achieve-
ment. He was also second in the
Pardubicke. I rode him 14 times
in all, including point-to-points,
and he was a tremendous horse
to have around.
"Being owned by Sean Con-
nery he was always going to be
a high-profile horse. He was
usually very busy filming, but
we kept him in touch with
videos and newspaper cuttings.
He would ring up and enquire
how the horse was. The horse
was 27 and had a great innings.
He spent his retirement at JP s
and was the companion of
Istabraq, so poor old Istabraq is
suffering today at the loss of his
When he retired, Risk Of
Thunder used to return to Pun-
chestown for their Festival meet-
ing to parade. General manager
Richie Galway said: "He was an
amazing horse and it s a sad day.
We have great memories of him
and he was unbeatable around
Punchestown. He reinvigorated
the banks races and was a true
"We looked forward to having
him back at Punchestown every
year to parade when he finished
racing, but the last couple of
years he hasn t been as they did-
n t want to take him out of his
routine to travel.
Academy Award with jockey Prayven Badrie is led into the
winners enclosure by owners Merlin and Carmen Samlalsingh
after winning Race 6 for W.I. Bred 3 Y.O. Maidens on Saturday
afternoon at the Santa Rosa Race Track in Arima.
PHOTO: DARREN RAMPERSAD
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Village targets ground conditions
Ground conditions will decide which race Shantou
Village will run in at the Cheltenham Festival following
his creditable effort at the track on Saturday.
A brilliant winner of a Grade Two at Prestbury Park
in November, Neil Mulholland's six-year-old had to
make do with minor honours in the latest trial for the
Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle as
Alan King's Yanworth dominated.
Mulholland feels the testing conditions were to
blame from what he believes was a below-par display
and he is not ruling out a potential rematch with the
winner in the Neptune itself.
However, the longer Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
now appears his most likely target, assuming better
ground prevails throughout the Festival.
"He hated the ground and basically never went a
yard on it. Ruby (Walsh) said he ran a cracker to finish
second and he wouldn't mind riding him on good
ground," said Mulholland.
"We weren't surprised he didn't like the ground, but
we had to try and he's come out of the race well.
"He won't run on that ground again and where he
runs at Cheltenham, if he goes there, will be totally
down to the ground.
"If it's dry on both days we're probably looking to-
wards the Albert Bartlett, but if it's dry on the Wednes-
day and looks like it might be softer on Friday, we'll run
in the Neptune.
Road on track for Irish Gold
Road To Riches is firmly on course for Saturday's
Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown after delighting trainer
Noel Meade in a racecourse gallop at Punchestown on
Last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup third has not
been seen in competitive action since landing Novem-
ber's Clonmel Oil Chase, having missed an intended run
in the Lexus over the festive period due to a minor set-
Meade reports his stable star to be firing on all cylin-
ders again now, however, and he was thrilled with how
he worked over the weekend alongside fellow Irish
Gold Cup contender Wounded Warrior.
"We were thrilled with him. He went round with
Wounded Warrior and we couldn't have asked for him
to go better," said Meade.
"Usually when you come to the track you're always
worried something goes wrong and you'll make a stu-
pid mistake, but he didn't. He jumped brilliant and
quickened up well.
"He was absolutely bombing and came back in with
a big smile on his face and his ears pricked, so I'm de-
"The little blip at Christmas was just a cold and I had
to give him antibiotics for a couple of days to clear it
up."Paddy Power make the Gigginstown House Stud-
owned Road To Riches the 10-11 favourite for the
Trainer Sandy Thomson has confirmed Seeyouat-
midnight an intended runner in Saturday's totepool
Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby.
The eight-year-old was beaten on his debut over
fences at Carlisle in November, but righted that wrong
at Kelso next time and proved his class with a brilliant
display at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.
Thomson hopes to see his charge line up at the Chel-
tenham Festival in March, but he must first come
through what could be a demanding test in West York-
shire this weekend.
Thomson said: "The plan is for him to go to
Wetherby on Saturday, all being well.
"He's in good form and is ready for a run. I just hope
the ground doesn't get too testing, that would be a bit
of a concern.
"It looks quite a competitive race at this stage. I'm
sure a couple of them are in the Scilly Isles at Sandown
as well, but maybe want to avoid More Of That, so
Hermitage Bay first, the rest,
That is my obvious conclu-
sion after analysing the ten-
runner Maiden Stakes over a
mile of Southwell fibresand
today, when a seven-race all-
weather programme runs in
tandem with Taunton jumps
fixture; Lingfield, like Ayr yes-
terday, was abandoned Sunday
due to waterlogging.
It s a well-documented, bor-
ing, subject but rains continue
to saturate the United Kingdom
and that good to soft ground
optimistically forecast for Don-
caster last Saturday, was way
off the mark; "very soft" was
the opinion of a leading National
Hunt jockey but the executive,
and ground staff, of Town Moor
tried hard and achieved plenty
to stage a two-day(s) meeting.
It is proving a disastrous win-
ter campaign for NH followers
but the sport at Cheltenham
was tremendous; drainage on
Prestbury Park is extremely
effective, several million pounds
was invested a few years ago
and come the Festival six
weeks tomorrow some of those
supposed hot-pots may well be
For instance all the Willie
Mullins-trained winners have
been on heavy Irish ground,
by March 15th it could ride fast
and has happened before!
Smad Place will run in the
Gold Cup on the back of his all-
the-way victories in the Hen-
nessy (napped @ 7/1) and last
Saturday, when grinding clear
again with a stamina surge; Alan
King s charge will be on the
premises and a popular each-
way fancy but King George
winner, Cue Card, is our current
number one and likely to
The time-handicap is our
Eight weeks ago Hermitage
Bay was backed into favouritism
for his much-awaited debut on
Kempton polytrack, despite
being drawn nine of ten!
Hermitage Bay wasn t able to
overcome the disadvantages but
was third, beaten three lengths,
in a fast-run race; a replication
should be good enough and
improvement will surely be
forthcoming. Of course it all
depends on being able to cope
with the deep stuff!
We re also posting selections
for the daily patent but neither
measures up to Hermitage Bay
and if there are any jumping
tips I ll post on
11.30 Hermitage Bay (nap);
12.00 Berkshire Beauty.
Spowarticus set to
handle the conditions
Risk Of Thunder dies at 27 A WINNER:
Under: (Last Tuesday)
10.30 am 4-32
6.30 pm 17-12
PICK TWO SELECTIONS
Times played this year
10.30am 1pm 4pm 6.30pmTotal
02 OLD LADY
04 DEAD MAN
05PARSONMAN 0 1 2 1
15SICKWOMAN 1 0 1 1
18WATERBOAT0 3 2 1
10.30am 1pm 4pm 6.30pmTotal
27LITTLESNAKE0 0 3 0 3
28 RED FISH
29OPIUMMAN 0 0 1 3
30HOUSECAT 3 0 1 1
31PARSONWIFE1 10 0 2
LAST DRAW: MONDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS Play Whe results to Monday, February 1, 2016
6.30 pm 0
6 (Belly) 6.30 pm
6 6.30 pm
19 (Horse) 4 pm
7 (Hog) 10.30 am
2 (Old Lady)
20 (Dog) 1 pm TODAY'S STAR BETS
15 (Sick Woman)
29 (Opium Man)
34 (Blind Man)
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