04 Nov Mr Everest takes major spoils at Flat Finale Fixture at Naas
Naas Racecourse staged the final fixture of the 2018 Irish Flat season on Sunday with trainer Tony Martin sending out the well-backed Mr Everest to win the Daragh Fitzpatrick & Colm White Local Bookmakers November Handicap.
Mr Everest had originally been first reserve for the final major race of the turf season but gained a place in the race following the withdrawal of his stable companion Golden Spear and the Willie Mullins-trained Pakora.
Martin turned to John Egan to take the ride on the light weighted runner and Egan was winning the €50,000 contest for a second time in four years having won on Clondaw Warrior in 2014.
Mr Everest was always prominent and justified the market support that eventually saw him return the 7/1 co-favourite by taking over in front inside the final two furlongs and holding the challenge of Exchange Rate by a length and a half.
Martin’s dual purpose performer is now likely to return at Leopardstown over Christmas.
“This is a lovely horse who is improving all the time and he had a very good run at Navan where he came from a fair bit back,” Martin said.
“He’s versatile and he could do anything that we want – he’s still a maiden over hurdles and we could look at a maiden for him now. He’s a lean horse who has taken time though so we’ll get him home and we mightn’t ask him to do anything for a month,” added the trainer.
Ger Lyons and Colin Keane combined for an emphatic victory in the Listed Finale Stakes. Mustajeer settled behind the clear leader Massif Central but cruised his way through to lead in the straight and ran out a six and a half length winner from Whirling Dervish.
Lyons commented; “That’s a lovely way to finish the season and he’s been promising to do that all year. He’s a work in progress and will hopefully be a lovely horse at this trip or even a bit further next year.”
Champion apprentice Shane Crosse capped an incredible season by winning the JF Dunne Insurances Maiden on 16/1 shot Naadheer for Johnny Feane.
On a day when Crosse was officially crowned champion apprentice the Tipperary native gave Naadheer a very enterprising ride to hold off 2/1 joint favourite Johnny Drama by a neck.
Crosse was joined by representatives from Coolmore and Ballydoyle at the end of season presentation as Aidan O’Brien was crowned champion trainer once again and Donnacha O’Brien claimed his first champion jockey championship, while Mrs Sue Magnier was Ireland’s champion owner in 2018.
* Free repro pictures – Please credit Amy Lynam Photography