JIM BOLGER’S Coolcullen yard are in scintillating form this summer and the master trainer landed one of the big races of the afternoon at the Curragh when Parish Hall took the Group 3 Meld Stakes. Run for the historic Defence Forces Cup, Parish Hall, owned by the trainer’s wife Jackie and ridden by their son-in-law Kevin Manning, was settled at the rear of the four-runner field for most of the race.
Front-runner Afternoon Sunlight was making the best of her way home under Pat Smullen but Manning conjured a super late run from the 15-8 favourite and he swooped to win comfortably on the line.
It was a big day for trainers in the Carlow/Kilkenny area, with Garrett Power, training in Windgap in County Kilkenny, squeezing yet more improvement out of his mare Lilly The Lioness at Tipperary.
She was a winner at the track on the flat recently, but Power saddled her to victory in the Packie Downey Memorial Handicap Chase. Well supported in the market from 6-1 to 4-1, she made all under jockey Brian O’Connell to win easily.
Later champion trainer Willie Mullins continued his fine form with a victory in the Follow Tipperary Races On Facebook Beginners Chase with Indevan. Like Lilly The Lioness, the winner made all the running, this time under Paul Townend, and obliged for favourite backers at 15-8.