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Passion lands the Connacht National on first start for Flynn

Paidi's Passion and Kevin Sexton clear the lastPaidi's Passion and Kevin Sexton clear the last
© Photo Healy Racing

On her first start for Paul Flynn, Paidi's Passion made all in the feature at Roscommon this evening, the Tote Connacht National Handicap Chase.

Successful four-times when in the care of David Christie, the Sean Gerard Duke-owned eight-year-old was last seen finishing last of six in a Grade 3 contest at Punchestown in January.

Available at 20/1 in early shows, the 117-rated victor came in for plenty of market support and was returned a 9/1 chance at the off.

Sent straight to the front by Kevin Sexton, the Ocovango bay blundered at the seventh and appeared to be travelling best on the approach to three out.

She increased her advantage on the run to the next and kept on well when ridden, coming home five-lengths to the good.

The Gavin Cromwell-trained Hascoeur Clermont (7/1) ran on into second under Kieran Buckley, while Gold Bullion (4/1f) and Streets Of Doyen (25/1) were half-a-length and a short head away in third and fourth respectively.

"I actually trained her mother years ago, Benefitthewest, so it's great to get one of her progeny," Flynn commented.

"Gerry and Sue (winning owners) have been good to me, Gerry looks after all my cars and stuff and always helps me out. They are great local people as well.

"It's brilliant to win with her and I think she'll improve again. She'll be going for the Midlands National now.

"If she got beat tonight I was probably going to go for the Galway Blazers but I think she should get into the Kilbeggan race now.

"I was kind of told not to make it but I told Kevin not to fight with her. He started off in fifth and he was in front at the first so he was getting a bollocking if he got beat! He gave it a great ride.

"She's a grand mare to get."


The Raceday Stewards interviewed M.P. O'Connor, rider of Gold Bullion (FR), 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 M.P. O'Connor was in breach of R.10.3(g)(frequency) and having considered his record in this regard (third offence), they suspended him for eight racedays.

P.J. Rothwell, trainer of Galon De Vauzelle (FR), reported to the Clerk of Scales that his charge burst a blood vessel. The IHRB Veterinary Officer confirmed that the animal had blood at both nostrils post race.

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.