Date Published: 03-Jul-2012
HE was touted as a potential Derby horse earlier in the season and though Zanughan didn’t live up to that billing, the John Oxx trained three-year-old still nabbed a decent prize at Ballybrit on Monday.
In maintaining Oxx’s impressive strike record in the Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes – the feature event of the Galway Autumn Festival – Zanughan belied his inexperience and a 113 day lay-off to comfortably take the €50,000 contest under Johnny Murtagh.
Having disappointed in the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown last May, the Azamour colt has been sidelined since only to take advantage of the step down to listed company in some style at Galway.
Oxx, winning the event for the eighth time, saw his big race challenger settled at the head of the chasing group as Spin set a lively gallop. Zanughan still had plenty to do around the home turn, but Murtagh’s mount displayed the best finishing kick of all to collar the long-time leader in the straight with last year’s second, Address Unknown, completing the placings.
Monday’s all-flat card opened with the Donnelly’s Of Barna Maiden and Aidan O’Brien’s Requisition made up for a disappointing effort at Tipperary earlier in the month as the 6/1 chance, under Seamie Heffernan, held off the Willie Mullins newcomer, Fatcatinthehat.
The O’Brien yard went on to complete a double with top weight Wrote in the Irish Stallion Farms Farms Nursery – the 6/4 favourite following up his recent success at Cork with some authority from two length runner up Beau Amadeus.
The Pascal Corrigan Handicap, run in memory of John Oxx’s long-time head lad, produced a surprise outcome in a tight finish, 14/1 outsider Royal Intruder just having a head verdict to spare over dead-heaters, Topoadee and the Iggy Madden trained Cairdiuil.
There was a popular local success in the James P. Cunningham Electrical Handicap as Loughrea based Herb Stanley saw his colours carried to victory by heavily supported favourite Indian Landing, which had hacked up on his most recent run at Sligo.
Prmising Tuam jockey Leigh Roche achieved his 16th success of the campaign when Goldplated upset two better fancied rivals, Louisville Lip and Missy O’Gwaun, in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, while Ted Walsh had the distinction of landing the finale as Rossvoss (7/1) came from off the pace to collar Smithfield on the line in the Renmore Maiden.
Meanwhile, punters were left counting the cost when all three odds on favourites were turned over – an unusual occurrence – on the opening day of the meeting last Saturday.
Racegoers’ woes began in the Easyfix Rubber Products Novice Hurdle when 1/2 market leader Rebel Fitz and David Russell were unable to withhold the late surge of Earls Quarter, which was initiating a double for the Willie Mullins/Paul Townend trainer/jockey combination.
Last year’s champion National Hunt trainer and jockey went on to complete their Ballybrit brace with 11/10 favourite, the progressive Laganbank, a smooth seven length winner from Serien in the Parkmore Maiden Hurdle.
Ironically, however, the Mullins yard were also responsible for the other two odds on favourite casualties on the card as Scotsirish – again partnered by Townend – paid the price for some sloppy jumping in the conditions chase, while Robin Angervin, backed as if defeat was out of the question, could only manage third in the concluding bumper.
With Scotsirish spoiling his chances by some sloppy jumping in the Colm Quinn BMW Chase, the finish was fought out between Lenabane and 2009 Galway Plate hero, Ballyholland, which underlined his liking for Ballybrit by bouncing back to form with a hard fought half-length success under Andrew McNamara.
Robin Angervin, a disappointing runner up at the summer festival, again didn’t find much off the bridle in the Jamie Kyne Memorial Bumper as late jockey substitute, top Galway amateur Derek O’Connor, pulled off a shock 25/1 win on the front-running Mare Of Milan, running in the colours of Ballinderreen man, Tom Quinn.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Galway have lot to ponder in poor show
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
FRANK FARRAGHER IN ENNISCRONE
GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.
The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.
There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.
It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.
Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.
Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.
Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.
Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.
Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.
Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013