On a pretty uneventful Monday, the highlight of the day was the first of the Ballydoyle contingent making the switch across codes at Fairyhouse. Off the track racing had a tricky day, with three jockeys being arrested and named in the national news for sexual assault. It’s a tough time in the racing world, with the devastating news surrounding Freddy Tylicki and Vautour showing that racing isn’t all just glamour and glitz.
1 50 LANDOFHOPEANDGLORY (J O’Brien) 10/11, 3YO Maiden Hurdle, 2M, Good
The first of the JOB-McManus new recruits went to the track, with Landofhopeandglory – although far from breathtaking – winning handsomely in the maiden hurdle. We already knew these horses could make an impact at this sort of level, but only time will tell just how much success they could bring to the new kid on the block; with a hand from dad of course. The sticks were not an issue and Barry Geraghty always knew he was on the winner, riding him confidently. Although the 2M trip looks perfect just now, there’s no doubt this prospect could go further given a bit of time and patience. There was big excitement when Ballydoyle announced the move of over a dozen horses and this will do nothing to slow the momentum building around JOB’s hurdling prowess he has building in Ireland. Even this modest enough debut has prompted the bookies to push this 3YO up to the top of the market for the Triumph at Cheltenham. Big Ben, another crossover, ran nicely into second and McManus was just as pleased with this run.