Irish Pointing Weekly Review
by Declan Phelan

Week Four - Killeagh, Kilfeacle & Castletown Geoghegan 21/1/2001

Once again there was 3 meets on Sunday, the milder weather certainly helped bring out the crowds despite the counter attraction of Istrabraq and co at Leopardstown.

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.

Killeagh
Left handed track. Excellent viewing, all 3 mile races, with 16 fences, the first jumped 4 times, all others 3 times. They begin each race at the start of the homestraight,jumping 2 fences in that homestraight, one either side of the winning post and then turn left handed uphill to the backstraight where they jump 2 fences on the climb, before winging it downhill to the second last, which is on the side before they turn for home and what is the last fence on the final circuit.
Going Good to Soft, the fastest this campaign on a beautiful day.
6 races ,no divides.

Race1--Confined Hunt Maiden 5+
A very weakly contested affair with a poor turn out of 6 runners. The Robert Tyner debutant Beauanarrow (6 Beau Sher) was the weak favourite (4/6 to 5/4), and he had little problem opening his account in the hands of Brendan O Sullivan, taking up the lead approaching 2 out and in control when his nearest pursuer Kilcas took a fatal fall at the last. It would be difficult to grade the winner on this performance as I would not hold out much future hope for the remainder of the runners.

Race 2--Winners Of One 5+
10 runners. An interesting race featuring 3 maiden winners this season ( Aibitir(6), Noble Justice(5) and Fightallthewayhome(6m) ) , taking on older more experienced opponents.
Aibitir(6 Alphabetim) was the marginal 7/4 jolly over Noble Justice( 5 Jurado) at 2/1.
Herewegobarney, Carrig House & Noble Justice set a strong pace throughout in a truly run race. Approaching the second last Paul Cashman committed on Noble Justice as Carrig House, Aibitir & Pagermar gave chase. The 4 were covered by 4 lengths going to the last, but decisively Noble Justice threw in a great jump here and just managed to fend off the late surge of Pagermar. Carrig House and Aibitir were not beaten that far in 3rd & 4th.
On the face of it this neck victory over Pagermar doesn't make Noble Justice look special, but he was the youngest horse in the race and in his 2 races this season he has won in contrasting styles, quickening off a slow pace at Dromahane and here winning having contributed to a strong pace throughout. I think he needs more time to fill into his 17 hands frame and can develop into a very serious horse. Trainer Liam Cashman is undecided about his future, but suggested a hunter chase may beckon. Aibitir was not happy on this surface and was off the bridle early in play, he needs testing conditions, while the mare Fightallthewayhome never looked likely and either found the race coming too soon after last week or simply was not good enough.

Race 3--Geldings Maiden 5 only (Powers Qualifier)
13 runners. This race has always been competitive at this venue and this years renewal was no different.
The marginal favourite was Ballyhampshire Boy( Husyan) who was a 9/4 shot due to his Dromahane 3rd to Noble Justice. Tom Costello ran 2, Creative Time 10/1 shot and the more favoured Keep Smiling 3/1-5/2. There was also money for the Wexford challenger from Denis Murphy's yard Nearly A Moose 5/1-3/1.
At the drop of the starters flag the newcomer from the Padge Berry yard Nickaree( Over The River) reared up and lost 50 lengths. Nearly A Moose (Supreme Leader) & Keep Smiling (Broken Hearted) set a strong pace followed closely on the first circuit by Kilmoney Prince(Muharib). China Box ( Witness Box 1/2 brother to Gale Toi) jumped poorly and was the first beaten, Nickaree got back into contention after his poor start, but began to fade as the tempo increased athe 4th last. At this stage Nearly A Moose and Keep Smiling were still locked in combat but Ballyhampshire was closing in 3rd. Leaving the backstraight on the downhill run to the second last the 3 grouped up, and came to this trappy fence at pace, Ballyhampshire Boy winged it but the other 2 were clumsy, giving the favourite a healthy 4 length lead coming to the last, which he jumped well, but Keep Smiling finished strongly and closed to within 1/2 length of Ballyhampshire Boy at the line, with Nearly A Moose 5 lengths back in third.
This is a race that is bound to throw up many future winners.

Ballyhampshire Boy was given a cracking ride here by Paul Tobin and once again franked the form of the earlier Dromahane qualifier. He is a handy son of Husyan who may need time after 2 taxing runs, but has a future possibly as a 2 and 1/2 mile handicapper when he has less than 11 stone on his back.

Dermot Costello rode the runner up Keep Smiling and he reckoned he would have won but for greenness. I tend to agree with him and this son of Broken Hearted who had one run as a 4 year old looks the type to make his mark on the racetrack proper. He should win next time out. The third home Nearly A Moose is a fine strapping son of Supreme Leader who ran a little freely here and may need time to develop both physically and mentally.

A few others caught the eye in this race.

Nickaree despite his erratic start showed enough to please his connections. Liam Cashman ran a Good Thyne 1/2 brother to Committed Schedule called Silken Thyne, who looked a big weak sort in the parade ring, and got a nice sweetening educational ride here. Held up at the rear he stayed on through beaten horses to take a distant 4th. He may need another race to get him fully tuned in. An Capall Dubh(Air Display) and Alpha Eight(Alphabetim) also hinted at ability.

Race 4--Open (no penalties)
10 ran. Dual Hunter Chaser winner from last year Gallant Glen was all the rage in the ring(2/1-4/5). His chief opponents were fellow Costello runner You Know Best (6/1) and 2 Gerry Cully runners Legal Storm (5/1) and Thertisforya(4/1).
Ex Tommy Stack bumper winner Blazing Imperial(5/1) was the joker in the pack.
However in the race Blazing Imperial was always trailing before Davy Russell pulled him up before 4 out. The 4 principles dominated, but Gallant Glen was always cantering before cruising to an easy 8 length success for Tony Costello, with Legal Storm getting the better of a 3 way battle for 2nd from You Know Best(who ran in snatches) and Theretisforya.
The winner will not be going to Cheltenham as he does not get the 3 mile 1 furlong trip, and will stick to Irish Hunter Chases on the easier tracks.

Race 5--Gelding Maiden 6 only
15 ran. A wide open market with 3 horse trading at around 5/2.One of them was King Balthasar (Insan) a beaten favourite for Charlie Swan in a Fairyhouse bumper (1/1/2000) and who subsequently was with Martin Pipe, and is now with Tom Busteed. Said to be an erratic sort, he proved it here, when ducking out through the wing of the second fence. Another joint favourite was the Costello runner No Stranger(grey Roselier) who also departed at half way after being hampered. The third co favourite was the Pat Doyle trained Oscar Performance(grey Roselier , 1/2 brother to Young Devereux). This Davy Russell ridden newcomer was cantering when falling 4 out. The upshot of the various demises of the favourites was that Ariann Sound(Montelimar) and Splash And Dash(Arcane) fought it out for the last 1/2 mile. Eoin O Grady got first run on Splash And Dash, led by 5 lengths on the home turn and held the rallying Ariann Sound by a length at the line.The winner and second are relatively exposed, the former will have difficulty adding to this success unless he improves while Ariann Sound should find a small maiden. Of the others Oscar Performance will no doubt visit the winners enclosure, but he is a little on the small side which in the long term may tell against him on the track proper.

Race 6--Mares Maiden 5 only.
13 ran. Talk To the Missus( Executive Perk) was the clear 2/1 fav, 5/1 bar.
However she fell at the second completing a miserable day for this seasons leading rider Davy Russell. Approaching 3 out there were 4 left in contention, an improving D'ygrande (Good Thyne),Threecrossmammies (Be My Native),River Grove (Over The River) and Star Accord (Accordion). The latter jumped to the front here and powered away for an comprehensive success, with D'ygrande taking second. Star Accord, a grey mare, benefited from a few runs last year, and may do well in mares only events on the track. The runner up D'ygrande will collect a similar event, as should the 4th home the John Berry trained newcomer River Grove.

Results

Race 1 Confined Maiden
(1) Beauanarrow (B O Sullivan)
(2) Act Fairly
(3) Shuil Americo
6 Ran

Race 2 Winners of One
(1) Noble Justice (P Cashman)
(2) Pagermar
(3) Carrig House
10 Ran

Race 3 Geldings Maiden 5 (Powers)
(1) Ballyhampshire Boy (P Tobin)
(2) Keep Smiling
(3) Nearly A Moose
13 Ran

Race 4 Open (No Pens)
(1) Gallant Glen
(2) Legal Storm
(3) You Know Best
10 Ran

Race 5 Geldings Maiden 6 yr.
(1) Splash And Dash ( E O Grady)
(2) Ariann Sound
(3) River Amora
15 Ran

Race 6 Mares Maiden 5 only.
(1) Star Accord
(2) D'ygrande
(3) Threecrossmammies
13 Ran.

Castletown Geoghegan
This popular Leinster venue normally stages 2 late season events, but this January meeting was a new departure, particularly as they raced in the opposite direction to the normal left handed way. The right handed nature of this meeting had 3 circuits with 15 fences, one in backstraight, 2 on the climb across the top and 2 fences in the home straight. The going was testing.

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 with Sheltering 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 trained Ten 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 debutant Merlo (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
(1) Good Man Yourself (D Cullen)
(2) Ten Poundsworth

Race 2--Geldings Maiden 5/6.
(1) Rip Kirby ( C Swords) Div 1
(1) Merlo ( C Murphy) Div 2

Race 3--Open
(1) Sheltering (P Fenton)
(2) Go Go Gallant
(3) McIlhatton

Race 4--Mares Maiden 5+
(1) Rejmas ( C Swords) Div 1
(1) Tribal Warrior ( J Quinn) Div 2

Race 5--Geldings Maiden 7+
(1) Kiltaban ( JJ Dullea) Div 1
(1) Moscow Enterprise ( N Geraghty) Div 2

Race 6-- Mares Open
(1) Double Impact ( A Strong)
(2) Rachels Girl.

Kilfeacle
The Scarteen Hunt raced for the first time at a new track at Kilfeacle, 7 miles from Cashel. This left handed track with 15 fences, 5 per circuit with an uphill finish, got the thumbs up from all concerned, and the going was good to soft.

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 when Druids 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 that Wap 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+
(1) Cool Climate ( J T McNamara)

Race 2--Geldings Maiden 5/6.
(1) Druids Glen (J T McNamara)

Race 3--Mares Open
(1) On The Mobile ( A McNamara)

Race 4--Geldings Maiden 7+
(1) Merry Minstrel (S Curling) Div 1
(2) Abbey Road ( D Skehan) Div 2

Race 5--Winners of 2
(1) Wap (J T McNamara)

Race 6--Mares Maiden 5/6/7
(1) Millwood Dream
(N Kelliher) Div 1
(2) Leaway (M Cahill) Div 2

Next Week
Sat 27/1/2001
Comber, County Down 12.00. 1st Northern meet of season.

Sun 28/1/2001
Dungarvan, County Waterford 12-30.

Ballon, County Carlow 12-30.
Nenagh, County Tipperary 12-30.

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