By Dan Walsh at Wexford races
Locals had a successful day at Bettyville Park today where the first race meeting of 2023 took place in pleasant conditions, but the Toberona House stables of Paul Nolan at Davidstown, near Enniscorthy, hit the headlines with a double success and both were partnered by Wexford jockeys.
Feet Of A Dancer (9/1) got the ball rolling with a three and a quarter lengths victory in the opening mares maiden hurdle with Taghmon jockey Sean O’Keeffe in the saddle “She is owned by Phil Byrne who is a very good owner in the yard and hopefully she will step up and keep going forward,” said Paul Nolan afterwards.
Nolan added the beginners chase with Mercury Lane (4/1) scoring by four and a quarter lengths under Sean Flanagan from Robinstown, Clonroche.
Sean O’Keeffe narrowly missed a double when finishing second on Tennessee Titan trained by Seamus Neville at Brideswell, Duncormick, behind Tony Martin’s Secret Rock (7/1) ridden by Peter Carberry in the maiden hurdle.
Heliko Conti (15/2) trained by Liam Burke from Mallow won the novice hurdle with Darragh O’Keeffe up depriving the Martin/Carberry combination of a double. Heliko Conti is owned by Peter Mulvany who has links with the Baldwinstown area of Wexford.
Doyen To Win (2/1) followed up wins at Naas and Limerick to make it three victories on the trot for the Newbury Syndicate from Clonmel with Kevin Sexton up in the feature race – the Michéal Ó’Murchadha Memorial Handicap Hurdle for Waterford trainer Declan Queally. The five year old bay mare by Doyen out of the French-bred mare Tarentine was bred by Paddy and Betty Kelly, Ballybrittas, Bree, so another success with a close Wexford connection.
Conor Maxwell won the handicap chase with the Dermot Anthony McLoughlin trained Ocean Legacy (22/1).
Champion trainer Willie Mullins, accompanied by his mother Maureen, who had a winner at Leopardstown a few hours earlier arrived at Bettyville Park in time to see Dancing City ( ) score in the bumper with champion amateur Patrick Mullins in the saddle.
It was a pleasant day’s racing with dry conditions and fast ground. The next races at Bettyville Park is on Friday, March 31st, the first evening meeting of 2023.