Valentina Lady and Sean O'Keeffe
© Photo Healy Racing
Professional jockey Sean O'Keeffe had his claim reduced to 5lb following a double at Naas today as he steered the Paul Nolan trained Valentina Lady to win the concluding Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Mares) (Pro-Am) Bumper.
The daughter of Oscar chased home last season's top class bumper mare Gypsy Island on debut at today's venue in March and while she subsequently disappointed at Wexford in April, today bounced back to form when beating More Info.
Nolan's horses have done notably well in recent months, with Valentina Lady being his seventh winner in six weeks, and following the race the Irish Gold Cup winning trainer reported “she travelled like a good filly.
“She was second to Gypsy Island here when we switched her off to get her settled but then she ran no sort of race in Wexford.
“We gave her a break and Michael Doran rides her out every day and is brilliant with her. She jumps very well and hopefully she will materialise into something nice.
“I liked the way she settled today and travelled very well into the race. Sean gave her a very professional ride and he said she just idled when she hit the front.
“I wouldn't like to go to the well too soon with her and John (Brennan, owner) leaves it to us. It would be great if she could pick up a bit of black type.”
Jockey O'Keeffe had earlier initiated a notable double as he steered the Philip Rothwell trained 20/1 chance Fiveaftermidnight to win the handicap chase.
Quotes from Alan Magee