Shades of Gray at Dundalk
Stadium as local romps home

LOCAL apprentice jockey Shane Gray was amongst the winners at Dundalk Stadium on Friday night.

LOCAL apprentice jockey Shane Gray was amongst the winners at Dundalk Stadium on Friday night.

The 16-year-old got the ball rolling on the night with the first of a double for the Tommy Stack team with his win on board Celerina being followed up by another success by promising filly Sikara, both in the colours of Peter Piller.

For Gray, it was his second career winner in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.

“That’s another good win for Shane and he had plenty of support,” Stack’s son, Fozzy, said.

“Celerina’s options are limited in this country as she doesn’t get any further than five furlongs.”

Sikara stayed on best of all to win a decent looking Fillies Maiden, justifying 6/5 favouritism in the hands of Wayne Lordan.

“Sikara is a granddaughter of Tarascon, who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas for us, and it is great to win with her,” Fozzy Stack added.

Eddie Lynam’s Dahindar (11/2) made a winning debut to land a fourth course success in the Handicap.

“Dahindar doesn’t like soil and will probably be rated 100 after this so we’ll have to run him again here next week. He loves this place,” Lynam remarked.

The Reaper (5/1) collared front-running Calm Bay a furlong out to take the five-furlong prize under a smart ride from young 10lb claimer Danny Benson.

Paul Flynn’s Great Realief (16/1) was the third in a row on the card to shine under a claimer as he burst clear from the furlong pole to destroy his rivals in the Dundalk Stadium On Facebook Handicap.

The reception Shane Gray got as he returned to the winners’ enclosure at Dundalk Stadium last Friday night was of a kind normally heard after a Classic.

There was a prolonged round of applause when the beaming Dundalk lad, aboard Celerina, made his way to the area reserved for the winner. Among the huge crowd greeting him were his parents, family and friends, and the 17-year-old took it all in his stride.

He had just ridden the perfectly-judged race on the 9/4 favourite, trained at Tommy Stack’s Tipperary stable, to which the youngster is attached. It was the second winner in his fledgling career following his success a fortnight earlier on another of Stack’s runners, Blue Dahlia, at The Curragh. A great future is predicted for Shane, whose older brother, Stephen, has already made his mark in the National Hunt sphere. He is expected to be seen in action at Dundalk quite often over the coming months, as the Stack stable is a great supporter of the track.

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