Right handed coastside track with 14 fences. Downhill run to the last than
can be very tricky. Viewing good.
It rained all day and the going was very heavy.
There was 9 contests as 3 of the races divided.
The opening winners of 2 was divided, but trainer/jockey combination of George Stewart and Leo Gracey were not complaining as they took both divisions.
In Division 1Lantaur Lad (7 Brush Aside) was very impressive accounting for a decent field. 2001 winners Merry Minstrel and Moscow Enterprise were left trailing in his wake.
Division 2 was won by Bellaney Lady ( 6 m Un Desperado) who accounted for much weaker opposition.
The first division of the 5/6 maiden produced a classy winner in the shape of the Cathal McCarthy trained Isle Beeavenue (6 Erin's Isle). A faller 3 out when in contention in the race won by Merlo at Castletown Geoghegan, he won here as he liked, and could be one to note in a bumper.
The second division went to a grey son of Supreme LeaderGola Supreme (6) who has clearly improved as he has matured, he was pulled up on his three outings last term, and this performance marked a transformed character. Our Boy (6 Convinced) won his maiden here last year and justified good support 3/1-6/4 by romping to an easy success in the Open. He had ran promisingly in the hunter chase won by Rockholm Boy at Down Royal and could return there for a maiden hunter chase.
The 5 year old geldings maiden produced a dramatic finish. MJ Henry had kickedFrom Little Acorns (Insan) into a clear lead from the start and the only horse to get within firing range was Putsomeby (Phardante) trained by Kevin O Brien.
Warren Ewing collected the 5/6 mares maiden on newcomer Over The March(6 Over The River) and the older horses maidens (divided) for novice riders was won by the exposed Moniker(8 Montelimar) and World O Good.
Race 2-- Geldings Maiden 5 & 6 only Div 1
Race 2-- Geldings Maiden 5 & 6 only Div 2
Race 4-- Geldings Maiden 5 yr only
Race 5-- Mares Maiden 5 & 6 only
Race 6-- Novice Riders Maiden 7yr+ Div 1
Sunday 11th February
A non stayers track as it has little in the way of climbs, suits frontrunners. With many turns does not suit long striding gallopers.
All races about 3 miles, with 15 fences and just a little over 3 circuits of the track per race.
Each race starts at the entrance of the homestraight, they bypass the fence on the homestraight and race past the winning post before turn 1 which takes them to fence 1, then turn 2 out into the backstraight and fences 2 and 3, then turn 3 to fence 4 and finally they travel back into the homestraight to fence 5.
With speed tending to play its part in the final 1/2 mile this track tests horses ability to fence cleanly at pace, and tends to get very good finishes.
The going was soft and the meeting was run in a persistent downpour.
Racing takes place on trainer Jimmy Mangan's land and this years meeting was high on quality fare.
Race 1--Confined Hunt Maiden(5 years+)
Davy Russell on board Mac Neill led from the start at a steady pace with Ariann Sound tracking in third with Jimmy's Pride a normal front runner held up well off the pace. At the 3rd last Ariann Sound jumped past Mac Neill to take a 2 length advantage, with Jimmy's Pride having closed right up on the leading pair. However the latter's effort was short-lived as the other pair swept clear to jump 2 out. Turning for the final fence Davy Russell stole up on the inside to regain the lead on McNeill, and in a desperate driving finish Ariann Sound just got the verdict by a head from Mac Neill with a distance back to Jimmy's Pride in third.
The winner will need to show radical improvement to score again this year, but clearly handles his frequent racing well. The runner up has had training problems, and is now with his third different trainer (Mike Condon) in as many years. I think Mac Neill may struggle to win a race. The rest, the less said the better.
Race 2--5 year old Geldings Maiden---Division 1.
Davy Russell on Tuco took the race by the scruff of the neck from the start, followed bySilver Strikes (Arzanni), The Wipper (Alphabetim) , Coursing Run (Glacial Storm) and Over Anxious. Despite the solid pace throughout they were well grouped with a circuit to race but Framica Prince who was never travelling was out of contention. Pat Cloke quickened to the front approaching 4 out on Silver Strikes but was stalked by the two market principals and Coursing Run. The latter lost his chance with a bad blunder at the 3rd last, and on the run to the second last Tuco and Over Anxious kicked clear. The pair jumped 2 out in unison but Davy Russell shook the reins on Tuco and in an instant he left Over Anxious for dead. When Tuco popped the last safely Dermot Costello eased up considerable on Over Anxious, with The Wipper pipping Silver Strikes for a remote third.
Tuco who was one of the horses withdrawn at Carrigtwohill last week looks as good a 5 year old as has been seen this campaign. Pat Doyle told me that he bought him back at the Land Rover Sale and the Land Rover bumper at Fairyhouse in March will be his next target. On this performance he is a horse with a big future, certainly blessed with a high cruising speed.
The runner up Over Anxious was unlucky to meet such a decent opponent. This clean jumping full brother to Into The Red is progressing with every run, a maiden win is a formality. The Costello team said that this Michael Hickey (of Bob Treaclyfame) owned 5 year old will campaign in points and hunter chases for the next few seasons and they are happy to see him showing improvement. He may be good enough to win a maiden hunter chase this campaign.
Plenty of the also rans here showed ability.
Padge Berry'sAuburn Hall (Mandalus) pulled up on it's debut at Dungarvan was more competitive here, in touch until the last 1/2 mile, eventually pulled up before 2 out. He looks primed to win a maiden in the Wexford circuit sometime in the next 6 weeks.
Liam Cashman ran 2 newcomers. As mentioned Coursing Run a strapping son of Glacial Storm was bang in contention throughout although a couple of errors did not help his cause. Also this tight track did not help him, expect him to visit the winner's enclosure at a more galloping track like Dromahane.
The second of the Cashman runners wasSilver Castle a steel grey son of Roscoe Blake. Eoin Gallagher gave this taking individual a nice quiet school around out the back and pulled him up before 3 out. On the bare form he achieved little, but I liked what I saw of him from the commentary position.
The Wipper and Silver Strikes probably need a more testing track but they both are sound jumpers without being sure-fire future maiden winners. Jimmy Mangan was out of luck here as his nice prospect Dantes Dozen made a terrible mistake which unfortunately resulted in a fatal injury.
Race 2--5 year old Geldings Maiden---Division 2
This race was run at a slower pace than the previous division and heading for the second last there was 5 in line, namely, Jordan's Lad, Hitman Herons, Dantes Promise, Six Five Special and The Husheen with a closing Nearly A Moose a few lengths behind in 6th. Remarkably all 6 jumped the fence safely, but as they rounded the home bend Davy Russell swept round the outside to view the front on Nearly A Moose. Jumping the last he held a narrow advantage and with both Jordan's Lad and The Husheen pressing all the way to the line, the strength of Russell was vital as he kept Nearly A Moose right up to his work for a length victory from Jordan's Lad with The Husheen in third.
The winner Nearly A Moose a cheap purchase at the Fairyhouse August sales was rumoured to have had wind problems, but this Denis Murphy trained charge night do well as an honest middle of the road 3 mile handicap chaser in the UK.
Jordan's Lad(Camden Town) should win a maiden and fills the same category of horse as Nearly A Moose but you might get more mileage out of this fellow.
The 3rd homeThe Husheen (Husyan) who finished 4th on its debut at Nenagh is trained by former jockey Mickey Flynn. He travelled in the fashion of a good horse for 2 and 1/2 miles but ran out of steam close home. I think he may have a touch of class and will be seen to better effect on a sounder surface.
Dantes Promisethe 1/2 brother of Strong Promise ran well until outpaced on the run to the last. It is difficult to be definitive of his talent on this run, but like most Phardante's he will also require better ground.
Another horse to catch the eye was the Gerry Cully trainedHitman Herons (Glacial Storm) who hinted at better to come. Held up off the pace on this his debut, he was put into the race at the 5th last, and showed a competitive streak until the jockey decided against knocking him about on the home turn. Again he can be placed to win a maiden.
The only problem with this maiden is that the poor pace may have flattered some, time will tell.
Race 3--6 year old Geldings Maiden(Powers Qualifier).
Mickevan got early reminders and his supporters soon knew their fate. Entering the latter stages of the race Rud Cinnte and Charafad went clear. They had a titanic battle and once again it was the strength of Davy Russell in the saddle that proved decisive as he forced Rud Cinnte up close home. Charafad lost nothing in defeat.
Rud Cinntehad fallen on his seasonal reappearance at Lisgoold but his overall form is nothing to write home about.
Charafadshould collect a maiden shortly. The third here was Ballybough Cracker who was always close up but could only plod on one paced behind as the main players quickened away
Marino Westcaught the eye in 4th, never really competitive, this run was coming too soon for him after his fine effort last week, he will win a maiden possibly on better ground.
Race 4--Open Lightweight (No Penalties)
From the start Nellie Gale and False Tail set a strong pace,Private Peace was settled 10 lengths adrift in 4th with Strontium a 25 lengths last of 6. With a circuit remaining the two no hopers had dropped out, and the 4 main protagonists were covered by 15 lengths. False Tail was the first to crack with mistakes at the 5th and 3rd last. Leaving the 3rd last Private Peace joined Nellie Gale for the lead as False Tail dropped away and Strontium still 12 lengths away was asked to close. The latter made up the ground very quickly and was on the tails of Private Peace and Nellie Gale 2 out. On the turn for home Strontium joined Private Peace, and he had a small lead after jumping the last which he just held onto from the gallant Private Peace with Nellie Gale not beaten that far in 3rd. False Tail was a remote 4th.
Davy Russell gave Strontium a brilliant ride here judging the pace to perfection. This completed a 4 timer for the jockey who has a decent lead in the championship. He is riding with supreme confidence and worth a stone to most horses. Without doubt he is the best amateur currently riding over jumps in Ireland or the UK. And there is also no doubt that he is a likely future Uk champion jockey, definitely the best Irish pointing rider to emerge since Adrian Maguire.Strontium is unusual as being a son of Strong Gale he needs soft ground. He now heads for a hunter chase on Sunday week at Fairyhouse and trainer John Gleeson is not keen on the idea of Cheltenham although his jockey is. John would prefer to wait for the Punchestown festival because the horse loves the course. On this performance the horse would have a small each way chance, his pilot would be a strong asset around Cheltenham.
Private Peace ran a cracker but now returns to the track to take on Nick Dundee at Gowran on Saturday. Nellie Gale is better in blinkers which she cannot wear in points, Kildorrery in 2 weeks is her next port of call for a likely success.
False Tail's bubble burst here, his jumping is suspect and against strong opposition it will always be found out, running in the Foxhunters would not be a good idea.
Race 5--Winner of One.
In a nutshell Mark Grant sent the Costello trained Le Cabro D'or straight to the front and this 7 year old son of Gildoran enjoyed an uncontested lead throughout to eventually run out a 30 length winner from Travelling Well with Fightallthewayhome a length behind that one in third. Dinsey Finnegan was never travelling and eventually pulled up before the last.
The winner may be good enough for open events but is unlikely to be allowed dominate as freely in future. Travelling Well may nick a similar event on a weaker circuit and the mare Fightallthewayhome could do likewise.
Race 6--5 & 6 year old Mares Maiden.
The favourite was never better than mid division, but 7 mares were in contention heading to the second last.
Wexford challengers Lauralivia (6 Rashar) and Closing Hours (6 Insan) just headed the Costello mare Legal Lady (6 Over The River), Nenagh runner up Carnmore Cross (6 Camden Town), Sarah Lou (5 Phardante) , Southotel and Countmeinpat.
Closing Hours quickened away approaching the last with Sarah Lou pursuit. The both jumped the last fence safely and Closing Hours recorded a comfortable 5 length win. In behind 3 fell at the last--Legal Lady, Lauralivia and Southotel and this left Countmeinpat to take the third position.
Closing Hoursis a well bred mare and this was a good contest, connections can look forward to track success with some justification. Sarah Lou will certainly gain compensation and this mare from the family of Another Coral may also be up to track standard.
Legal Lady and Talktothemissus are others up to collecting a mares maiden.
Race 2 Geldings Maiden 5 yr only Div 2
Race 3 Geldings Maiden 6 yr only ( Powers Qualifier)
Race 4 Open Lightweight
Race 5 Winner of One
Race 6 Mares Maiden 5 & 6yr only
Conditions were abysmal and the original complement of 5 fences per circuit (3 circuits) was reduced to 4 when the 5th of the fences was omitted after an extraordinary first race.
In that first race both Shuil Americo (8 Lord Americo) and A Rare One in that order fell at the last when clear. the only horse left going was Readers Choice (9 m Lapierre) who scrambled across the line. The winner will need another miracle to add to this success.
Camas North(6 Muharib) collected the younger mares maiden.
The open produced an exciting finish with the consistentLegal Storm getting an overdue win at the expense of the duel 2001 winning mare On The Mobile.
The winners of one was a dreadful affair won by the recent Nenagh winner the 11 year old Muskerry Express whose age and experienced clearly helped in the dire conditions.
The older geldings maiden was divided with Commander Cully and Bucring Boy successful.
The 5/6 gelding maiden was the divided the more competitive second division going the way ofMiracle Escape.
The second division witnessed the performance of the day when the Michael Hourigan trained newcomer Eurotrek (5 Eurobus) simply toyed with the opposition in the hands of Gordon Elliott. Interestingly like impressive Tallow winner Tuco he was also withdrawn at Carrigtwohill the previous week.
Eurotrekis very well regarded by the Hourigan camp, but they are undecided on what route to travel next.
Race 2-- Mares Maiden 5/6 only
Race 3-- Open lightweight
Race 4--Geldings Maiden 5/6 only Div 1
Race 4--Geldings Maiden 5/6 only Div 2
Race 5-- Winners of One
Race 6-- Geldings Maiden 7 yr+ Div 1
Race 6-- Geldings Maiden 7yr+ Div 2
****Datito the early season Lisgoold winner has joined Richard Phillips, he could be placed to win a bumper.
****It will be interesting to see how the impressive Carrigtwohill winner Millstream Court gets on in the 3.00 at Clonmel on Thursday.