A town divided in celebration!

After the euphoria conveyed in the last offering in this space relating to Dunboyne’s victory in the Junior Hurling Championship, in a way, this is chapter two of the same story.

Initially, one had felt quite low at Act II coming to fruition. Not out of bitterness or begrudgery, just because of feeling removed from certain scenarios. When plenty would know how little it would take to flip things in a completely different direction.

However, one break of the ball in the right direction could turn the wind to the benefit of matters close to home. Now, having said all of the above, it must be at this point stated that a serious kick was attained from the other parts of a sporting weekend to remember in the old home town.

Not least in the pocket. In what could quite possibly be a unique occurrance, the equine investments of two local syndicates came in within an hour or so of each other.

Both syndicates are based in Mulvany’s Bar in Dunboyne. Just to add another layer of excitement to a truly wonderful weekend, several patrons are involved with both horses. There’s yet another layer to this story which will be dealt with in due course.

For now, though, it’s worth reflecting that in recent years horse owners in the locality have had some tremendous luck. Firstly, the original Mulvany’s Bar Syndicate who have enjoyed great days with Mydor and Drakensberg and Sil Ver Klass.

Sil Ver Klass scored again under Peter Carberry

It was the latter valiant steed who got the ball rolling on that glory filled day most recently when scoring in a valuable handicap chase on the last day of the Listowel Harvest Festival.

Having known plenty of people – and been closely associated with some – who were involved in horses for half a lifetime and had no luck, I can only imagine what it would be like to be involved with one winner. Let alone have an interest in multiple who triumphed across all codes of racing.

Once Silver had done the business once again under Peter Carberry, winning trainer Tony Martin remarked “We’re a bit light on numbers today (of members of the syndicate) as some of the lads have gone to The Curragh with the other horse”.

Gordon Bennett recorded another snug success at The Curragh

The other horse being the hugely progressive 4-year-old Gordon Bennett. Running in the name of Out All Night Syndicate and under the care of Dick Brabazon, the Prince Of Lir gelding began his upturn in fortune in April of 2021 when scoring for the first time, in Navan off a mark of 65.

Fast forward to last weekend and three victories later here he was claiming the prestigious Joe McGrath Handicap at Flat headquarters. His handicap rating having risen by 25 pounds from the time of his first success. That’s three lbs short of two stone. I don’t care what the original base mark was, that’s some progression.

To achieve that takes some character on the part of the horse. But as trainer Brabazon alluded to post race, character is one thing this steed is not short of.

The Curragh-based handler remarked “This lad can’t go into a stable, he’s named after a madman in America whose father founded the New York Times”. Sounds about right given some of his connections!

Seriously though, what a summer this ‘dark horse’ has given owners and by extension the village. Also, how refreshing it is to see a flat horse staying in training rising five years of age. Especially one who is so obviously still on the upgrade.

To paraphrase Van Morrison a bit, there’ll be more days like the last few!

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