There was an abundance of racing in Ireland over the Easter weekend and the Eddie Hales-trained Astute Approach created a hugely favourable impression by easily winning the Tom Gilligan Supports Fighting Blindness INH Flat Race for four-year-olds at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
Astute Approach, a gelding by Bob Back that represents Dungarvan owner David Connors having been bred by his father Nicholas, made most of the running to see off the filly Galant Ferns by eight lengths on what was his second career outing.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Carrick-On-Suir owner and breeder Gerard Quirk’s Polly Massini won a better than average Killetra Mares Maiden Hurdle at Cork with jockey Michael Darcy. Polly Massini is incidentally trained by Michael Moran near Mullinahone.
Conna Castle has been a fantastic servant to east Cork trainer Jimmy Mangan over the past couple of years and the Germany-sired gelding won Sunday’s feature event at Fairyhouse, the Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup Chase. Sent off at 7/2, Conna Castle with Paul Carberry ultimately beat Big Zeb and by doing so, the Germany-sired gelding recorded his 10th career success.
Carberry also won the afternoon’s main supporting event, the Grade 3 Masterchefs Hospitality European Breeders Fund Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final with Oscar Rebel.
Homebred by her owner and trainee farrier William Fitzgerald, Oscar Rebel is trained by Glengoura-based handler Liam Burke, who was otherwise engaged at the Dromoland point-to-point meeting in Co Clare.
Racing in Cashel
There’s racing at Thurles on Thursday and Parknakyle is put forward as the solution to the Cashel Beginners Chase.
This Paul Nolan-trained mare, a former winning point-to-pointer, finished second in a two and a half mile handicap hurdle at Wexford on St Patrick’s Day and she should attain due reward for her consistency by disposing of Rory’s Pleasure here.
Whilst Coldwells was soundly beaten into third place on her most recent foray in a Down Royal Handicap Hurdle, Francis Flood’s mare should still provide the solution to the Clonoulty Handicap Hurdle whilst Dessie Hughes’ Grangeclare Gold is marginally preferred to Corbetstown Star in the Littleton Mares INH Flat Race.