THERE was some stellar fare at Sunday afternoon’s United Hunt Club’s Ballindenisk point-to-point fixture.
It was a case of the best wine being reserved until last as Bandon-based handler Jason O’Reilly’s Getawayrooney continued her meteoric rise through the ranks by recording her third consecutive success of the season in the closing mares’ winners of two.
On an afternoon that saw racing delayed by 30 minutes whilst awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, Getawayrooney was always positioned on the pace with first-time partner James Hannon.
Getawayrooney and Kates Hill had the race to themselves from before the penultimate of the 12 obstacles. The winning daughter of Getaway, who won at Curraghmore and Turtulla in recent weeks, edged into the lead after this second last fence and she was always marginally on top thereafter.
At the post, Getawayrooney had some one and a half lengths to spare over northern challenger Kates Hill with the pair returning a distance clear of the only other finisher Kind Witness in third spot.
“She is as tough as they come and we will now give her a break until the new year," said five-horse handler O’Reilly of Getawayrooney, owned and bred by Michael O’Reilly from Roscarberry.
Super Citizen indicated that he’s in line for a most productive campaign by winning the open lightweight under his handler Eugene O’Sullivan’s talented nephew Michael O’Sullivan.
The six-year-old Super Citizen, who finished seventh on his return to action in a Fairyhouse hunters chase on November 10th, stormed to the fore past A Rated on the run to the last.
Having thrown an excellent leap here, Super Citizen then powered clear on the flat to beat the mare Shuil Luas by three lengths in the colours of It Came To Pass’ British-based owner Mrs Alurie O’Sullivan.
“He’s been knocking on the door for a while and he deserved that, “remarked handler O’Sullivan of Super Citizen.
“He will definitely now go for the maiden hunters chase at Limerick over Christmas.“
Brian Dunleavy continues to gain admirers and the 18-year-old from Dungourney partnered his third winner of the campaign and his fourth in all aboard Jimmy Mangan’s ex-track mare Chelseas Friend in the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden.
Chelsea Friend took command before two out and she went clear on the run to the final fence to see off Truckin With Paddy by 12 lengths.
“She is handicapped over hurdles and she will go back to the track now,“ said trainer Mangan of Chelsea Friend, owned and bred by his brother Billy Mangan.
Mikey O’Connor piloted his first winner since the spring of 2019 by teaming up with owner/trainer Terence Leonard from Newcastle West to capture the second division of the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden with Oh Dear Me, who pulled up on her only two previous starts last term.
The patiently-ridden Oh Dear Me assumed command from two out and she ultimately returned with 15 lengths to spare over Fireball Breeze.
Former southern regional champion O’Connor reported: “I rode work on Oh Dear Me during the week and she should now do her job on the track.“
Sam Curling’s Miss Clogher stepped up from her most recent fourth-placed effort at Dromahane to win the first part of this same contest in the hands of Derek O’Connor.
Miss Clogher eased past Darragh Allen’s mount Oscar Tonic at the second last to oblige by 10 lengths in the colours of Golden, Co Tipperary-based butcher Eamonn Ryan.
Last season’s Tinahely runner-up Kilbeg King continued the excellent run of absent handler Colin Bowe by collecting the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden.
However, Kilbeg King had his task simplified at the final fence as Radetzky March, who still held every chance, fell here when just a half-length adrift in second spot. Kilbeg King was then left clear to beat Clonmeen by eight lengths.
The opening four-year-old geldings’ maiden was divided with Co Wexford-trained horses winning both instalments. In the first division, the Mary Ellen Doyle-trained newcomer Tango Tara picked up the running before two out with John O’Neill to dismiss long-time leader Upping The Anti by two lengths.
Meanwhile, Duncormack-based operator Michael Murphy’s debutant Journey With Me created a hugely-favourable impression by sweeping clear from two out with Sean Staples to oblige by 12 lengths in the second split of this race. Journey With Me, a chesnut-coloured son of Mahler, is now likely to be sold.
Next Saturday, the South Union Foxhound meeting takes place at Kinsale (planned 12 noon start).