Donnacha turns to training
Donnacha O’Brien, recently crowned champion Flat jockey in Ireland for the second time, has announced he is quitting the saddle to take up training in 2020.
The 21-year-old, who won the 2,000 Guineas in May on Magna Grecia and enjoyed a double on Champions Day with Magical and Kew Gardens, said in a statement he was “looking forward to training a small group of horses next year.”
O’Brien will join his father, Aidan, and older brother Joseph in the training ranks from his base at Longfield in County Tipperary.
Japan Cup joy for Murphy
Oisin Murphy has put the icing on a campaign that saw him crowned champion jockey for the first time by winning the Japan Cup at Tokyo on Sunday.
This year’s renewal did not feature a single international runner among the 15 horses that lined up for the 1m4f prize, worth £2.17 million to the winner, although seven of the jockeys were from overseas.
Riding five-year-old Suave Richard, a son of Heart’s Cry, Murphy enjoyed a ground-saving trip on the rail and while their challenge was impeded in the straight, they stayed on well to defeat Curren Bouquetd’or by three quarters of a length.
Murphy, who said he was “over the moon” to have captured the prestigious Grade 1, plans to stay in Japan until the New Year.
Power strikes again
Fresh from his win on Lostintranslation in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday, Robbie Power guided favourite Chris’s Dream to a decisive success in the feature Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday.
The Henry de Bromhead-trained seven-year-old was making his handicap debut over fences following a novice campaign that took in Grade 1s at Aintree and Punchestown.
Chris’s Dream jumped accurately, travelled powerfully and stayed on strongly at the end of the three-mile event to score by nine and a half lengths, with a return to Graded company surely now on the cards for the Mahler gelding.
Kempton stages the Listed Racing TV Mares’ Hurdle (3m½f) today with six runners bidding for the first prize of £14,238.
The Nick Williams-trained Culture De Sivola, third in last year’s renewal and later a winner over course and distance, is taken on by Annie Mc, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and successful on her last start in the EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Series Final at Newbury in March.
An interesting beginners’ chase earlier on the card sees high-class hurdler Thomas Darby, a good second on his fencing debut at Warwick earlier this month for trainer Olly Murphy, meet Master Tommytucker, a winner of two of his three hurdles starts for the Paul Nicholls stable.
There are also jumps meetings at Musselburgh and Ludlow while Chelmsford race on the all-weather.