An excellent crowd travelled to Kilossera for the Dungarvan Harriers annual point-to-point fixture last Sunday and the John Queally-trained Where Now provided a measure of compensation for stable companion Al Eile’s third-placed effort in the AIG Hurdle at Leopardstown by destroying the opposition in the novice riders open lightweight. Partnered for the initial occasion by Kilworth amateur Stevie O’Donoghue (20), Where Now (6/4) went to the head of affairs after four out and whilst runner-up Never Present posted a most commendable effort with 17-year-old Larry Murphy, he was still some 10 lengths in arrears at the line. Old Scew Bald’s jumping left a little to be desired at times on his seasonal debut and Denis Murphy’s charge returned an additional 10 lengths adrift in third spot.
“This fellow is a great servant and we’ll go the same route as last year. Everything will be geared towards another crack at the Aintree Foxhunters, a race that he finished third in last year,” disclosed Queally’s representative Eoin Daly of Where Now, owned by Karl Casey. The vast majority of local interest centred on the confined hunt maiden, an event that attracted nine runners, and it certainly yielded a shock result in the form of 12/1 winner Tara Lee. Mikey O’Connor sent Stradbally trainer/breeder
Off to stud
Tom Cummins’s mare Tara Lee into the lead inside the final 100 yards with the daughter of Windsor Castle staying on stoutly to defeat the Stevie Keane-ridden Tiger Billy by four lengths. The 4/6 favourite Presenting Proform couldn’t raise her effort in the closing stages with James Sheehan’s charge returning an additional three parts of a length adrift in third spot.
Cummins divulged: “This is a good little mare that we have had to mind ever since her first run at Affane in the autumn of 2006. She is the first horse to carry my father Matt’s colours and we’ll go to stud with her now. “
Mikey O’Connor, who hails from Liscarroll in north Co Cork, went on to complete a double by teaming up with Liam Fennessy to collect the five-year-old mares’ maiden with Egermyster (4/1), who had been placed on two out of her three autumn forays this season. Trainer Fennessy also departed with two winners as he sent out Hey Biddy (5/1) to land the first division of the six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden with Barry John Foley. Hey Biddy bravely rose her effort in the closing stages to dispose of favourite Skehanagh Park by a head.
Favourite backers went home on excellent terms with themselves as Robert Tyner’s The Raven Hare justified strong market support from 2/1 into 4/5 in the second split of this same concluding contest when dispensing with Beths Bell by two lengths under Damian Murphy. Beths Bell is under the care of Tramore handler Pat Flavin and it goes without saying that this seasonal debutante will prove extremely difficult to beat next time. The Aidan Kennedy-trained Martys Mission (5/1), jointly owned by Eamonn Wall and businessman John Dollard, created a hugely favourable impression by making a victorious career debut with ‘Corky Carroll’ in the first section of the six-year-old geldings’ maiden. Martys Mission ultimately eclipsed Ballybrennanboy to the tune of 10 lengths and it goes without saying that the triumphant son of Zaffaran must be followed wherever he goes.
Tramore-born vet John Halley sent out his own horse Pandorama (3/1) to win the first part of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden in the hands of Pa King. Pandorama made all the running to see off the grey-coloured Good Man Sir by two lengths. The newcomer Jessies Dream (8/1) returned to the coveted number one slot with his trainer Paul Cashman in the first instalment of this same opening contest whilst Macroom bookmaker Gerry Kelleher’s Lifeisbutadream (10/1) just came out on top with Colman Sweeney in a desperately close finish to the second heat of the six-year-old geldings’ maiden.
RESULTS (Going: Soft)
Dick Brennan/J P Houlihan 5-Y-O Geldings Maiden (1st Div) of € 1,200. 3 Miles
1) M Lynch’s Jessies Dream ch g (Presenting – Lady Apprentice) 12-0 Mr P Cashman. 2) J Halley’s Benjessy 12-0 Mr P A King. 3) J P McManus’ Well Covered 12-0 Mr P F Mangan
17 ran. 2L, 2L.
Dick Brennan/J P Houlihan 5-Y-O Geldings Maiden (2nd Div)
of €1,200. 3 Miles
1) J Halley’s Pandorama b g (Flemensfirth – Gretchen’s Castle) 12-0 Mr P A King. 2) C E Hickey’s Good Man Sir 12-0 Mr J T Carroll. 3) P Martin’s The Real Tyson 12-0 Mr D O’Connor. 16 ran. 5L, 1L, 5L.
Gain 5-Y-O Mares Maiden of
€1,200. 3 Miles
1) D Fehan’s Egermyster b m (Fourstars Allstar – Lady Veronica) 12-0 Mr M J O’Connor. 2) D Kissane’s Leahs Joy 12-0 Mr S J Allen. 3) J Carroll & J O’Brien’s No Half Measures 12-0 Mr J T Carroll. 15 ran. 7L, 2 1/2L, Dist.
Tom Coffey 6-Y-O Geldings Maiden (1st Div) of €1,200. 3 Miles
1) E Wall & J Dollard’s Martys Mission b g (Zaffaran – Parson’s Lodge) 12-0 Mr J T Carroll. 2) B Doyle’s Ballybrennanboy 12-0 Mr M N Doran. 3) R Frisby’s Taipans Dream 12-0 Mr M J O’Connor. 15 ran. 10L, 1/2L, Hd.
Tom Coffey 6-Y-O
Geldings Maiden (2nd Div) of €1,200. 3 Miles
1) G P Kelleher’s Lifeisbutadream b g (Accordion – Solvia) 12-0 Mr C J Sweeney. 2) E Condon’s Dreamy Sweeney 12-0 Mr P Cashman. 3) Happy Farm Syndicate’s Twice The Craic 12-0 Mr G O’Sullivan. 14 ran. 1/2L, 7L, 4L.
Al Eile Stud Confined Hunt Maiden of €1,200. 3 Miles
1) M Cummins Snr’s Tara Lee b/br m (Windsor Castle – Familyvalue) 7-12-0 Mr M J O’Connor. 2) P McCreevey’s Tiger Billy 6-12-0 Mr S Keane. 3) R McGrath’s Presenting Proform 5-12-0 Mr D O’Connor. 9 ran. 4L, 3/4L, 20L.
Bridgie Terries Novice Riders Open Lightweight of €1,500. 3 Miles
1) K Casey’s Where Now b g (Cataldi – Its A Honey) 12-12-0 Mr S M O’Donoghue. 2) L Murphy’s Never Present 9-12-0 Mr L C Murphy. 3) M Murphy’s Old Scew Bald 8-12-0 Mr S C Byrne. 13 ran. 10L, 10L, 8L.
Park Hotel 6-Y-O & Upwards Mares Maiden (1st Div) of €1,200. 3 Miles
1) M Carroll’s Hey Biddy br m (Norwich – Bromley) 9-12-0 Mr B J Foley. 2) M O’Riordan’s Skehanagh Park 6-12-0 Mr C J Sweeney. 3) J Barry’s Bathwick Lucy 8-12-0 Mr J Beamish. 10 ran. Hd, 7L, 10L.
Park Hotel 6-Y-O & Upwards Mares Maiden (2nd Div) of €1,200. 3 Miles
1) T Caplice’s The Raven Hare b m (Sea Raven – Let The Hare Run) 6-12-0 Mr D Murphy. 2) Circle Six Syndicate’s Beths Bell 6-12-0 Mr C J Sweeney. 3) T Ryan’s Socialite Girl (GB) 8-12-0 Mr M F Hassett. 10 ran. 2L, 15L, 2L.
Preview: Thurles this Thursday
Thurles plays host to a planned seven-race card this Thursday (1. 35 pm start). In all probability, the Johnjoe Walsh-trained Sportivo will represent the best bet of the entire afternoon in the Rock Of Cashel Handicap Chase.
On his most recent start, Sportivo finished a more than creditable third behind The Budgee and Pom Flyer in a two-mile handicap chase at Cork in early January and it’s worth recalling that the Oscar-sired gelding previously won a handicap chase off a mark of 96 over two furlongs further at this same venue on December 23rd. Sportivo, whilst now rated 108, can regain the winning thread here by proving marginally superior to Dead Sound.
Carrigeen Kalmia looks the part in the Littleton Handicap Hurdle. A most competent performer over fences, the Dick Lalor-trained Carrigeen Kalmia finished a more than respectable second to Knight Legend in the Wilf Dooly Chase, a listed race over an extended two miles five furlongs, at Tramore on New Year’s Day. If anything, this event reflects a drop down in class and Carrigeen Kalmia can utilize her 94-hurdles rating to best possible effect by excelling from Duers.
Themoonandsixpence can conclude the afternoon on a profitable note for punters by returning to the coveted number one slot in the closing thurlesraces.ie INH Flat Race.
Themoonandsixpence, a winning point-to-pointer last season, was well-fancied when contesting a Fairyhouse bumper on his track debut in mid-December. Ultimately beaten three lengths into second spot on that occasion by Rock Steady, Themoonandsixpence can attain consolation for trainer Willie Mullins by dispensing with Weapon’s Amnesty here.
Liam Burke’s Surenaga should compensate connections for his second-placed effort over flights at Tramore on New Year’s Day by showing a clean pair of heels to Bella Mana Mou in the Ballynonty Maiden Hurdle whilst veteran Golden Domer and Private Lives are a likely pair in the Tipperary (Lady Riders) Handicap Hurdle.
Jessica Harrington’s former Pierse Hurdle winner Studmaster can deservedly open his account over the larger obstacles by disposing of Candy Girl in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase over two miles whilst the three-mile Devil’s Bit Beginners Chase looks set to be dominated by Ambobo and Valentia Island with narrow preference for the former, trained by Nickname’s handler Martin Brassil.