Tag Archive for: Luke Dempsey

Darasso outclasses Fairyhouse rivals

Darasso stamped his class on the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

With Flame Bearer and Thedevilscoachman both significant non-runners, the admirable Darasso was a 7-2 shot to secure his fifth win at Graded level for trainer Joseph O’Brien and owner JP McManus.

Ridden by Luke Dempsey, the blinkered nine-year-old took over the lead from Heaven Help Us early in the home straight before being challenged by the strong-travelling 3-1 favourite Santa Rossa, who was bidding to provide his trainer Dermot McLoughlin with a third winner in two days.

But Darasso refused to bend in front, galloping on strongly from the second-last and pinging the final flight to seal his six-length victory.

Assistant trainer Brendan Powell congratulates Luke Dempsey after steering Darasso to victory
Assistant trainer Brendan Powell congratulates Luke Dempsey after steering Darasso to victory (Gary Carson/PA)

O’Brien said: “He’s a great horse, he turns up every day and runs his race. That’s all you can ask for.

“He’s a little bit short of Grade One level but all you can ask for is that they do their best and he’s a joy to have around.

“You can go two miles or three miles in a chase or hurdle and you kind of know what you are going to get with him. It’s very unusual for a horse to be like that.

“I’m not sure what’s in Punchestown for him. We put him in the Champion Hurdle and he might sneak around there and see what happens, but we’ll see how he comes out of today as this was his target.”

Gordon Elliott’s Iberique Du Seuil caused a minor upset in the Donohue Marquees Juvenile Hurdle.

Triumph Hurdle fourth Icare Allen was all the rage as the 4-11 favourite, but while he travelled strongly into the straight, his challenge petered out between the final two flights.

Innatendue approached the last with a narrow lead, but 12-1 shot Iberique Du Seuil joined him in the air and finished the stronger to prevail by two and a quarter lengths.

“That was great and it’s nice to get a winner. We’ve had a winner each day and it’s very important,” said Elliott.

“It’s great for Noel and Valerie (Moran, owners) at their local track. They are great supporters so it’s brilliant.

“We thought before today we’d be looking at something like the Lartigue at Listowel and I’d imagine we could look at the Galway Hurdle.”

Darasso takes Lismullen prize as Flooring Porter crashes out

Darasso took full advantage of Flooring Porter’s fall at the second-last flight to claim the Grade Two Lismullen Hurdle at Navan.

Flooring Porter, last season’s Stayers’ Hurdle hero, had made the running and still looked to be going within himself, despite being challenged by Grand Roi, when he came down. Thankfully both Gavin Crowmell’s six-year-old and rider Danny Mullins were quickly to their feet.

That left Darasso (4-1), who had made ground from last place in the five-runner field, to pick up the pieces.

The eight-year-old, trained by Joseph O’Brien, came through to hit the front under Luke Dempsey and land the spoils by six lengths from last year’s winner Sire De Berlais, to give owner JP McManus the first and second.

“He’s been very consistent all year, he run some good races so it’s nice to see him back again in front,” said McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry.

“He’s in the Morgiana next weekend and we’ll see how he is during the week, he doesn’t mind pulling out quick. If he is in good form we might have a shot at it.

“He’s probably not good enough for the Grade Ones, but he could pick up a bit of prize-money – he never runs a bad race.”

Dempsey said: “It was a very good performance. He likes that good ground and he did it nicely in the end. He’s been on the go all summer and the others haven’t so that helped him. He had a fitness edge.”

Darasso and jockey Luke Dempsey after their victory in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan
Darasso and jockey Luke Dempsey after their victory in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan (Gary Carson/PA)

When asked if he thought he had Flooring Porter covered, he added: “I’m not sure whether he had me beaten or not, to be perfectly honest with you. I was coming with my run at the time and I felt I had plenty of horse left. He did it nicely. He’s a right little horse.

“We went very quick, there was no hanging about. I was riding my lad to run well and pick up whatever I could. When they went so quick early on, I knew it would play into my hands.”