Delighted Smyth salutes Bolger after first winner
REPORT: CLONMEL, Thursday evening
RESTRICTED trainer Lee Smyth who spent four years learning his trade with Jim Bolger saddled his first winner at Clonmel and afterwards paid his former boss several compliments.
The County Tyrone-based Smyth, who has seven horses under his care sent out Tipper Road, just his seventh runner, to supply Davy Moran with a 65/1 double on the day in the 1m4f handicap.
"Jim Bolger is by far the best to teach and is an absolute legend," said Smyth, who acquired his licence at the beginning of March since leaving Coolcullen. "I would recommend to anyone in the sport to go there if they could."
Malachy McKenna head of the Platium Starlight Syndicatealso played his part in the success, according to Smyth. "Malachy has a swimming pool and there is no doubt it played a big part in getting this horse back.This is an emotional time for me," added the jubilant winning trainer.
Dermot Weld's veteran dual purpose campaigner Mutakarrim knuckled down best of all in the closing stages to get the better of Power Elite in a tight finish to the 1m2f claimer, the 27th leg of the popular 36-race Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Series.
"He's a champion, isn't he", said winning rider Shane Gorey, who recalled a special career milestone going back to a Naas 12f handicap aboard Michael Smurfit's 11-year-old in October 2003. "I lost my 10lb claim on him and that was a long time ago!"
Cork runner-up Apt Son went one better under Davy Moran when the pair drew clear after a rough passage in the 1m2f maiden to defeat Silverhand by two-and-a-half lengths.
A stewards' enquiry was called after the runner-up was the meat in the sandwich between the winner and the eventual fourth Gratified when the race unfolded, but as expected no alteration was made to the judges placings.
Winning trainer Frank Ennis said: "He'll probably go for a little handicap and will probably jump a hurdle. He's a horse you have to keep fresh and he probably needed the run in Cork the last day."
Pat Shanahan was again the subject of praise from trainer Tracey Collins after he got a dream run up the inner aboard top-weight The Tartan Army to land the 10f handicap. "Pat gave him a peach of a ride as this horse is not the easiest of rides," said the Curragh trainer, who is considering sending the gelded son of Galileo over jumps down the road.
Eoin Griffin has the Lartigue Hurdle planned for South Wing after the 11-8 favourite got his head in front close home under Paul Carberry to beat Root Cause and the weakening Saleshin in the 2m maiden hurdle.
"He gave himself a nasty gash under his fetlock at Limerick and that's why we haven't seen him for a while. He might got for the Lartigue Hurdle."
Former Jim Bolger student Lee Smyth who tasted success in the training ranks for the first time courtesy of Tipper Road