I was at Killeagh 12 miles east of Cork city and regarded as one of the top pointing tracks in the country. As per usual at this venue there was a number of UK visitors, including Hen Knight and Terry Biddlecombe, scouting for stars of the future.
Race1--Confined Hunt Maiden 5+
Race 2--Winners Of One 5+
Race 5--Gelding Maiden 6 only
Race 1 Confined Maiden
Race 3 Geldings Maiden 5 (Powers)
Race 4 Open (No Pens)
Race 5 Geldings Maiden 6 yr.
Race 6 Mares Maiden 5 only.
There were 6 races scheduled, but with 3 divides spectators got 9 races for their days entertainment.
Not surprisingly the 3 winners events were not divided.
The feature race of the day was the Open withSheltering looking to book his ticket to Cheltenham. His opponents included the once decent Go Go Gallant and McIlhatton( Ted Walsh). However Philip Fenton enjoyed another uncontested lead on Sheltering and just as at Lisgoold he was never threatened by his pursuers with Go Go Gallant finishing a respectable 5 length second.
Significantly it was reported that Sheltering( 5/1 fav for the Foxhunters) will not run before Cheltenham, as he goes directly today(Monday) for a wind operation ( not his first), and it will be a race against time to get him ready for the Festival. So I would advise you hold off any ante post bets on Sheltering.
In the concluding Mares Open Aaron Strong gave the well exposed northern mare Double Impact (8 Doubletour) a positive ride to account for Rachel's Girl (8 Kings Ride). In all honestly it was a poor mares open.
In the opening winners of 3, the former Tony Martin trained Good Man Yourself (7 Good Thyne), now with N Nelson, was given a powerful ride by Denis Cullen to pip the George Stewart trainedTen Poundsworth (8 Orchestra) by a neck. The runner up is a likeable sort and can atone on his local circuit, with a Northern Hunter Chase within his capabilities. The winner who has had his problems in the past, may not be one to take a short price about in future engagements.
In the maidens on the card, the 5/6 geldings maiden was divided with the first division going to the Francis Flood trained Rip Kirby, a well exposed sort on the track, this one now goes for a winners race at Punchestown in a month. The second division was probably stronger, with 3 fighting it out approaching the 2nd last, but newcomers Notabadskin and Gothic Lord both fell leaving Colm Murphy to collect on Seamus Kennedy's debutantMerlo (6 Supreme Leader). The winner may have been lucky to collect but ran very green and is open to plenty of improvement. Results
Race 1--Winners of 3
Race 2--Geldings Maiden 5/6.
Race 5--Geldings Maiden 7+
Race 6-- Mares Open
Champion pointing rider John T McNamara has been out of luck so far in 2001, but his fortunes changed for the better here with 3 winners.
He got off the mark for the year with Lisgoold runner up Cool Climate (8 Zaffaran) who won the opening confined maiden. J T quickly doubled his tally whenDruids Glen collected the 5/6 geldings maiden with an impressive performance. This 5 year old son of Be My Native ( 1/2 brother to Maximus, winner recently at Folkestone) was crediting Enda Bolger with his first win of the campaign. Druids Glen looked a real chasing type when I saw him an his debut at Dromahane on 1/1/2001, where he fell 3 out, and he can make an impact on the track. Incidentally he was the third winner of the day to come out of that Dromahane Powers qualifier.
J T had ambitions of a quick treble on Prometteuse in the Mares Open, but J T's brother Aonghus had other ideas and he was in control aboard On The Mobile when the held Prometteuse fell at the last. On The Mobile (6 Spanish Place) had impressed when winning at Lisgoold 14 days ago, and is improving with every run, and will be a hard nut to crack in mares company this year.
J T McNamara completed his treble aboard Wap (5 Be My Native) clocking up a double for trainer Enda Bolger and another winner in the McManus colours. J T was ever impressed with this horse who won on his sole outing as a 4 year old. There's little doubt thatWap will be a chasing star of the future, and is unlikely to taste defeat between the flags.
Wap was completing a double in the McManus green and yellow colours, as earlier the Eddie O Grady trained Merry Minstrel got off the mark in the hands of Sam Curling. This hitherto disappointing 8 yr Black Minstrel 1/2 brother to Merry Gale won a poor affair, and will struggle if returned to the track.Results
Race 1--Confined Maiden 5+
Race 2--Geldings Maiden 5/6.
Race 4--Geldings Maiden7+
Race 5--Winners of 2
Race 6--Mares Maiden 5/6/7
Dungarvan, County Waterford 12-30.