2022 got off to a great start for the team on Wednesday with a double landed on the card courtesy of wins for both Alhaajeb and Skontonovski under Ronan Whelan.

Alhaajeb, a £15,000 purchase by Shamrock Thoroughbreds at Tattersalls HIT July Sale last year for loyal owner Edward Battersby, completed the first part of the double by getting up to lead close home to win Division One of the Dundalk Winter Series Championship Handicap from the Jimmy Mangan-trained No Show.

Speaking afterwards, Ado said, “Ronan was just class on him, he gave him a serious ride. He took his time on him, codded him, and when he hit the front on him he said he had to throw the kitchen sink at him to keep him going. He gave him a beautiful ride.

He’s a tricky enough horse to train. He has slipped down to a nice rating, he came out of England last year and he’s been a little bit disappointing. It’s great for Eddie who is a longstanding patron.

He’ll probably mix and match it and he’ll be an ideal summer horse over hurdles.”

The second half of the double was completed just over an hour later when the consistent Skontonovski again under Ronan Whelan landed the Book Online At DundalkStadium.com Handicap.

Like Alhaajeb, the Harbour Watch gelding was purchased for £6,500 at the aforementioned July Sale for another of our loyal owners Mark Devlin & friends. Given a patient ride throughout, Ronan gave the horse a perfectly-timed ride to get up and win by a length from the Gavin Cromwell-trained Crystal Dawn.

Speaking afterwards, Ado said, “I often tell young lads to count to 10 and I’d say he counted to 20 up the straight! He’s just a class apart and he didn’t panic.

Two runs ago the horse was second and got 4lb, sometimes the handicapper does that to you up here during the winter and that can stop you for the rest of the year.

He’s won four times for us since we bought him last July so he owes us nothing and he’s a great fun horse. He might get a little break and then kick on back on the turf.

I think Ronnie made the big difference there. He just didn’t get involved, put the horse asleep and left him asleep until the last furlong.”