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First training success for Donoghue

It was a day to remember for Meath native Ian Donoghue who registered his first winner as a handler at his local track with Optional Mix winning the five-year-old mares maiden at Fairyhouse in the hands of Paul Bannon. 

Donoghue only took out his handlers this season and five of the horses under his care have hunter certificates.  

He made his return to the saddle last season after a break of 11-years and intends to operate under both codes next season.   

‘I will be back riding next season, it was just hard to keep my weight right during lockdown.’

It was a natural progression for Donoghue who has being breaking and pre training horses at his base in Meath. 

‘I have ten horses riding at home at the moment, five of which have hunter certificates the rest are four-year-olds and we decided not to bother getting them certs with the way the ground has gone and will wait now for the Autumn.’

‘We are going down the route of buying store horses with the view to selling them on.’

‘One of the horses I have is owned by Stephen O’Connor from the Underwriting Exchange, he is one of the masters of the Ward Union and would be good friends of Mam and Dad, he also sponsors my brother Keith.’

‘He asked me to find him one and he left him with me, which is great.’ 

‘I also have a five-year-old mare for Mayne Kidd but I’d imagine she will go home shortly.’

‘In time I would like to take out my full trainers licence, that would be something I’d be interested in doing.’

Optional Mix the five year-old-daughter of Carlotamix who posted a 10-length victory in the five-year-old mares maiden at Fairyhouse, Donoghue stated;

‘We were disappointed with her at Punchestown but that was my own fault I told Joey (Dunne) to drop her in but she just needs to be ridden handy away.’

‘We were delighted with her at Tipperary and knew she would have a great each way chance, as we knew Gavin’s mare was decent.’

‘She came out of the race well and we could have run her sooner but we decided to wait and run her at our local track and we also hunt with the Ward Unions so it was nice to get my first winner with them.’

‘We have done plenty of schooling with her, she’s a mare that just likes to get on with things and just bowl along in front. She always been an easy mare to work it, she jumps well and we would have thought she would have won three months ago but the season stopped.’

‘She will go to Doncaster now later next month if she is not sold in between.’

‘We have a couple to run over the next few weeks, one we would be looking forward to running again would be Douglas Talking who fell on previous outing at Fairyhouse, he just jumped very green and was very hard on himself but he’s nice horse who we like a lot.’

‘My two brothers help me out, Keith owns the four-year-olds with me and helps out when he can.  My youngest brother Ross (pictured with the winning handler above) is 15-years-old and he would be with me everyday and is a great help.  Paul Bannon and Joey Dunne also come in and give us a hand with the schooling and ride work for us.’

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