After the recent mini heatwave, winter returned with a vengeance at Leopardstown on Sunday – but Noel Meade was all smiles after completing a treble courtesy of wins for The Red Menace, Aint Dunne Yet and Sixshooter.
The Tu Va handler’s three winners made it a perfect four from four runners over the weekend for the trainer.
As the weather continued to lash the Dublin track, Sixshooter (11-8 favourite) brought up the trainer’s hat-trick when making a successful debut in the concluding TRI Superstore (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race under amateur Mark O’Hare.
Meade smiled: “He’d never been on grass before and we know he goes on snow now! I’d say he’s quite a decent horse.
“He’ll run again in a four-year-old race later in the year and could go for the race in Limerick.
“It’s been a great weekend – four runners and four winners.”
The Red Menace (5-6 favourite) just held Dommage Pour Toi in a thrilling finish to the Donohoe Marquees Maiden Hurdle.
Meade said of Sean Flanagan’s mount: “Just in the last 20 yards the other horse seemed to find a gear and I thought we were beat.
“We’ll see what the handicapper does and he’s a novice until later in the year so he can run in long-distance novice races over the summer.”
Aint Dunne Yet (6-5 favourite) backed up The Red Menace’s win when taking the Leopardstown Membership Beginners Chase.
The Flanagan-ridden eight-year-old was gaining compensation after unseating his rider when hampered at the final fence at Fairyhouse eight days earlier.
Aint Dunne Yet was able to stroll home 54 lengths clear of runner-up Carter McKay, after Mastermind, who was his only serious challenger, came down at the last.
Meade said: “Because he’s by Flemensfirth I always thought he wouldn’t like good ground, but he floated around Fairyhouse last week and because he came home so well that’s why I stuck him in here.
“All he had to do was stand up there, I suppose, but we’ll paddle on and see where we go. He could go for a novice handicap at Fairyhouse, and I’d say two and a half would suit him a lot better.”
Gordon Elliott was another trainer in form, bagging a double through Tombstone (9-10 favourite) in the Foxrock Cup Hurdle and Woods Well (14-1) in the TRI Equestrian Handicap Chase.
Elliott said of the latter: “He seemed to enjoy the bit of easier ground there.
“He jumped a lot better and travelled better. I’ll have to speak to Eddie and Michael (O’Leary), but I’d say there is a good chance he’ll go for the Kim Muir (at Cheltenham).”