Killarney is viewed by many as Ireland’s most scenic racecourse and it is hard to disagree. The mountains above the lakes of Killarney, along with beautiful greenery and Ross Castle form an idyllic backdrop. The Cathedral acts a focal point for jockeys entering the home straight. There was an all flat card with the listed Vincent O’Brien the highlight of the day. A decent crowd was in attendance with a nice mix of locals and tourists. However one worrying sign was the lack of activity in the betting ring. Many young racegoers now bet on their phones and on course bookmakers are definitely suffering. During midweek meetings in winter they must really struggle to make money. I hope the betting ring survives as it brings such colour and vibrancy to racing. Can you imagine how boring and empty it would be without them?
I will begin with the highlight race. I Can Fly was sent off as the 2/1 fav for this listed contest over a mile. Concerns over the form of the O’Brien yard caused her to drift in the market. Rionach attracted plenty support. The race developed as I expected, Petticoat and Marshall Jennings set the pace. Rionach was ridden for her usual finishing burst on the outside. I Can Fly’s really showed her class as she covered every move and easily put the race to bed. Rionach claimed second and Marsahall Jennings stayed on for third. I Can Fly was sent off at 7/1 for the Guineas and is clearly held in high regard. Hopefully the winner will now go to Champions Weekend and will go close in whatever race she goes in.
Third World got up to win the opening 7f maiden by a head from Excelsius for Dermot Weld at the third time of asking. Excelsius and Karasi in third will definitely win races. Vivianite led home a 1-2 for Michael Halford in the second maiden. This filly had the form in the book and deserved a 1 beside her name. Connections will now search for blacktype. Colin Keane and John Murphy, who loves a Killarney winner, teamed up to claim the 1 mile handicap with High Altitude. The horse was third reserve and was lucky to get in. This was the horses maiden win after many placed efforts. Denis Lenihan was seen to good effect on New Identity in the apprentice handicap. 4 pound claimer Gavin Ryan drove Danehill Quest home in the other apprentice handicap for the in form Sheila Lavery. We saw two very nice performances in the final two races. Still Standing continued to improve by bolting up in the M C Group handicap over a mile and three. I personally think Still Standing is a stakes horse and is one to follow this Autumn. Falcon Eight, a half brother to Free Eagle, put a good field to the sword in the lucky last, completing a double for Dermot Weld. Comments after the race were taking. The horse will run once more in 6 weeks and will hopefully be an Irish St Leger horse next year. Could he be a Melbourne Cup horse? In conclusion, it is well worth keeping an eye on Killarney form and plenty good horses come out of the meetings. A great day was topped off by local jockey Oisin Murphy winning the International at York.