Dublin Racing Festival
Harry Rogers achieves a touching victory as veteran Lord Erskine turns back the years to triumph in style

Harry Rogers achieves a touching victory as veteran Lord Erskine turns back the years to triumph in style

The Dublin Racing Festival Day 2 took place at Leopardstown. In a race of contrasting fortunes, O’Keeffe managed to wind up the 11-year-old to come with a sustained effort from before the last to score by three and a half lengths from the mares Magical Zoe and Zenta.

Despite his odds of 40-1, not many would have begrudged this consistent performer his victory on the big stage some seven years after winning the Irish Cesarewitch, and by the same token nobody would have begrudged Rogers his biggest success since Silent Oscar landed the 2007 Champion Hurdle at Punchestown. He said: “Darragh knows him very well and was very good on him.

I thought they would go a good gallop over the trip and that’s why I stuck him into it. “He needs a fast-run race and I thought he was well in when I saw the weights.

He’s a proper little horse. He’s been unlucky.

The last couple of years we have had him for the amateur handicap in Galway but we couldn’t get into it. This is nearly the first time we’ve managed to get him into a good handicap off a low weight.

Hopefully there’s more in him. “His late owner Jerry Nolan was one of my best owners.

I rode winners for him and he was an absolute gentleman. My wife Mary passed away two years ago and Jerry passed away four weeks later.

On a different note, Fleur Au Fusil and Jody Townend won the Coolmore NH Sires ‘Hurricane Lane’ Irish EBF Mares I.N.H. Flat Race (Gr.2) at the Dublin Racing Festival Day 2.

Leopardstown. “She was good and Jody gets on well with her.

She said she jumps off and just relaxes when she gets to the front. She has a lovely French pedigree.

We’ll think about whether we might go to Cheltenham or Aintree,” said Mullins. “She’s been steadily improving and won at Catterick the last day.

We were in a different ball game today, but it has given her a bit of confidence,” said trainer Stuart Crawford. He added: “She has a wee touch of class about her and it couldn’t have gone any better.

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