By Mark Jones
DUBLIN – Ireland’s leading flat jockey, Johnny Murtagh, landed his 12th Group One winner of the season when he won the prestigious Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin last Sunday.
Riding the Michale Stoute-trained Daliapour, Murtagh stretched clear off the home turn to hold off Ela Athena with ease. Murtagh has also triumphed in both the English and Irish derbies this season.
Ryan squashes Kenny
Derek Ryan won his seventh Irish squash title when he defeated Liam Kenny in straight games in Sunday’s final in Dublin. Contesting his 10th final in a row, Ryan saw off the challenge of Kenny, who was educated in Australia but has now declared for Ireland, winning 9-4, 9-1, 9-7.
Meanwhile, Eleanor Lapthorne won the women’s title for the first time when she beat Louise Finnegan also in straight games.
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Wicklow course offer
One of Ireland’s premier links golf courses was the subject of a £22 million (bid last week, but the course’s owner has decided not to sell. According to Pat Ruddy, owner and architect of the The European Club in County Wicklow, he recently received an offer of in excess of £20m to buy the course, which was opened 10 years ago.
Although lacking the tradition of Ballybunion, Portmarnock and Royal County Down, the European Club is widely regarded as an outstanding example of linksland and is visited by a number of American players during the summer months.