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Menindee returns to winning ways under O'Keeffe

Menindee and Darragh O Keeffe win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Handicap Steeplechase Healy Racing Menindee and Darragh O Keeffe win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Handicap Steeplechase Healy Racing
© Photo Healy Racing

Menindee got back on the winning trail when recording her third success under Darragh O'Keeffe in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Handicap Chase at Roscommon.

Twice successful under the Cork jockey prior to today, the David Christie trained seven-year-old set out to make all the running.

However, it soon became apparent that she wasn't going to get things all her own way with Downtown Queen taking her on up front under Conor McNamara.

Leaving the back straight for the final time, Menindee began to get the better of her main rival but still faced a strong challenge in the straight as Lizrona emerged from the chasing pack to push her all the way to the line.

David Christie junior said:- “She's a tough mare and she's fit as she's been running all summer.

“The ground was the big worry today, she is tongue-tied, but Darragh said she really toughed it out.

“He was good and positive and let her get into a rhythm, which is very important for her breathing. Whenever they turned into the straight it was going to take a very tough one to pass her.

“The guys bred her and they deserve that. They've stuck by her and she's been fantastic for them.

“She just keeps staying but with her wind we've always been reluctant to run her on softer ground. Darragh said it is heavy down the back straight.

“She's actually beaten a few mares there that would prefer that ground. We're delighted with that.

“We might look at something else for her. The end goal is probably to breed off her we're always looking at black-type.

“If the ground came up nice again we might even look at Cheltenham in November, there might be something there for her.”

Additional reporting by Gary Carson.

About John O'Riordan
John has worked for the Press Association since 2022. He also writes a weekly column for The Irish Field and is a regular contributor to the Irish Racing Yearbook. He has previously written for the Racing Post, Irish Examiner and Irish Daily Mirror. He has been involved in racing for over three decades; having experience as a syndicate member, sole owner and breeder.