/ Racing

Limerick charity meeting a huge success

Updated: Monday, 14 Oct 2013 20:09 | Comments

Over €500,000 was raised at Limerick's innovative raceday
Over €500,000 was raised at Limerick's innovative raceday

Perennial champion jockey Tony McCoy and leading owner JP McManus were fittingly among the winners as a special fundraising meeting at Limerick went down as a huge success.

A big crowd descended on the Patrickswell circuit as trainers, jockeys, owners and racegoers looked to support the fixture, with money being raised for the Jockeys Emergency Fund and to support the rehabilitation efforts of JT McNamara and Jonjo Bright after their life-changing injuries.

McManus, who supplied McNamara with many big winners down the years, was aptly in the Limerick winner's enclosure as the Ronnie O'Leary-trained One Fine Morning (5-1) took the Bar One Racing Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Handicap Chase under Alain Cawley.

McManus said: "It's a wonderful day and wonderful to be here.

"People are in great form and everyone is in a giving mood. I'm sure we'll see the benefits of it.

"Everyone has played their part at some level. A lot of people have put a lot of work into the day and there are thousands of people, who wouldn't normally be here on a Monday, who've made the effort to be here.

"JT is not here, but he's not forgotten.

"There was so much good will towards this day. We've had a marvellous day's racing and who ever imagined a Monday could be like this?"

One Fine Morning's win formed part of a five-race jump jockeys' challenge between riders based in Britain and those in Ireland, with the UK-based riders claiming victory by 131 points to 103.

McCoy was seen at his brilliant best in the Paddy Power Supporting JT & Jonjo Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Handicap Hurdle as he and 11-4 favourite Jansboy edged out Barry Geraghty and Friendly Society by a short-head.

McCoy said: "Obviously this day is for a great cause and it feels special to be able to ride a winner on a day like today because it's going to the two lads - Jonjo and John Thomas.”

Richard Johnson and Nick Scholfield also rode winners for the British team.

Johnson struck aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Devils Bride (4-11 favourite) in the 'Rite Of Passage' Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Maiden Hurdle, while Scholfield guided 5-1 favourite Mrs Mac Veale to victory in the ITBA & AOIR Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Mares Handicap Hurdle.

Wildcatted was a 16-1 winner of the "Hurricane Fly" & IRTA Britain v Ireland Riders Challenge Handicap Hurdle under Brian O'Connell.

The most eagerly-anticipated event of the afternoon was the Betfair Cash Out Flat & National Hunt Champion Jockeys Handicap.

With National Hunt stars like McCoy, Johnson and Ruby Walsh riding alongside Flat legends such as Pat Smullen, Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh, in total the participating jockeys had ridden over 22,000 winners and had won upwards of 80 titles between them.

The 'champion of champions' was Murtagh as he won aboard 2-1 favourite Goal, with Walsh in second on Flying Light.

Sebadee (100-30) won the Boylesports Hunter Chase, while the concluding bumper went to 9-2 shot Voluptueux.

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