18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Wagering and T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly | Advertising Disclosure

Lord Maher strikes on track debut

Lord Maher and Liam Quinlan jump the lastLord Maher and Liam Quinlan jump the last
© Photo Healy Racing

The www.roscommonracecourse.ie Opportunity Maiden Hurdle appeared a weak race on paper, and it was track debutant Lord Maher who eventually came out on top.

Bought for E13,000 at the Tattersalls July Store Sale last year, the Ocovango bay failed to complete in two point-to-point starts, falling two out when tailed off on his most recent outing at Stradbally last month.

Sent off a 16/1 chance this evening, the successful bay gelding raced in second under Liam Quinlan, improving into a share of the lead after four out.

Owned and trained by Sam Curling, he gained a narrow outright advantage after the next and kept on well when ridden in the closing stages, coming home two-and-a-quarter lengths to the good.

The easy-to-back Tyson (7/2 from 15/8 early) ran on well to take second under Conor Smithers for Paul Nolan, while the well-supported Rampere West (9/2 from 13/2) was another length away in third.

Returned the 9/4 favourite (from 6s early), the Bill Durkan-trained Lope De Light finished fifth.

Just over 10-lengths separated the first 10 home, with plenty of erratic jumping making for an eventful affair.

"He had bad form in his point-to-points, he fell and unseated, but Sam fancied him coming here today. He said the nicer ground should suit him and to make plenty of use of him," Quinlan revealed.

"He ended up doing it well in the end. He'll be a nice horse for somebody for the summer."


The Raceday Stewards interviewed P. Hanlon, rider of Mother Ship concerning his use of the whip in the closing stages of this race. Evidence was heard from the rider concerned who accepted he was in breach of the Whip Regulation and apologised for his actions. Having viewed a recording of the race and considered the evidence the Raceday Stewards were satisfied that P. Hanlon was in breach of R.10.3(g)(frequency) and having considered his record in this regard (first offence), they suspended him for one raceday.

Shane Fenelon, rider of Rhodesia trained by Charlie Keegan, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount was badly hampered by the faller.

The Raceday Stewards reviewed an incident on the bend before entering the backstraight involving Halla Paroiste ridden by L.A. McKenna, placed sixth, and Tyson (GER), ridden by C.D Smithers, placed second, where it appeared Halla Paroiste had to take a slight check. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the matter, the Raceday Stewards were satisfied that no further action was warranted.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

About Donal Murphy
Donal graduated from Maynooth University in 2010 with a BBS in Equine Business and since attained a diploma in Sports Journalism from Dublin Business School. He holds a variety of roles in the horse racing industry, reporting for the Press Association and p2p.ie, while also working for SIS and the Tote. From Wexford, he is a keen runner and has completed over 100 parkruns at various locations around the country.