Tandem races to Tipperary triumph for Dermot Weld

Friday, Apr 21 2017

Tandem showed he retains plenty of zest for the game by springing a 20-1 surprise in the TipperaryRaces.ie Race.

With just one run to his name since September 2015, when down the field in a Meydan handicap over a year ago, the Dermot Weld-trained eight-year-old seemed up against it, especially with Pat Smullen partnering stablemate Ezanak.

Favourite Motherland put the pace to the race and looked the likely winner, but Leigh Roche drove Tandem home on the inside to claim the spoils by a length.

Weld said: "The last time he ran here, he won and he went to Dubai and got injured. But he was always a good horse and still is a good horse and I'm delighted with him.

"I thought he might need the run but he got a lovely run on him and that's his ground.

"I toyed with the idea of running in a good handicap hurdle at Punchestown next Friday but may stay on the Flat now.

"I don't really have any jump horses and he may appear back over hurdles, maybe even at Galway. He could run on the Flat or over hurdles there - he's a fair horse over hurdles too."

Alluringly has several Classic entries and they may not be too far-fetched judging by her successful return to action in the Tipperary Races Fillies Maiden.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained 9-4 chance left behind two-year-old form that was only satisfactory to beat Weld's market leader Dabulena by four and three-quarter lengths.

O'Brien said: "You'd have to be very happy with that and we'll go gentle now. She's a nice filly and has a great pedigree. We'll look at an Oaks trial now."

O'Brien doubled up when even-money favourite Venice Beach proved in a different league to his rivals in the Fundraising Events At Tipperary Races Maiden.

Relishing the mile and a half, the half-brother to Arc and King George heroine Danedream devoured the ground in the straight and passed the post with five and a half lengths in hand of Clongowes.

His handler said: "He's a lovely horse and he liked going a mile and a half, even though at Leopardstown, Seamus (Heffernan) thought he tired on his first run back, rather than the trip (being unsuitable).

"Obviously he stays very well and is lazy - that's why he wears the cheekpieces.

"He's a nice middle-distance horse, will progress with racing and will go for one of the Derby trials next."