THE annual Kilworth & Araglen Harriers point-to-point took place behind closed doors at Ballyarthur outside Fermoy.
On an afternoon that also saw no bookmakers present, Araglen-based handler Sean Allen sent out Concrete King to record a third success of the campaign under his younger brother Darragh Allen in the winners of three.
The six-year-old Concrete King, an excellent third on his previous start in the Knockanard open last month, got into a lovely rhythm in front in this three-runner contest and his jumping was virtually faultless throughout.
The winning six-year-old was always travelling marginally better than Templebredin from after two out and he ultimately defeated Sam Curling’s charge by one and a half lengths.
“Concrete King really loves this soft ground and I think that he should improve again next season,“ said the elder Allen, who dedicated this victory to 27-year-old Tom O’Donoghue from Kilworth, who sadly passed away a few weeks previously.
Just two horses lined up in the closing five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden and Castlelyons-based owner/trainer/breeder Edmond Kent’s Solar Sovereign vindicated the promise of his second-placed debut effort in a similar type of contest at Kildorrery last month by returning to the coveted number one slot under Johnny Hurley.
There was little to choose between Solar Sovereign and Jeremy Central until the winning five-year-old stormed clear from the last, showing an electric turn of foot in the process, to oblige by five lengths.
“That ground was plenty testing for him here and he’s a horse that has always been showing us plenty at home, but I will probably now have to run him in a winners race,“ said Kent of Solar Sovereign.
Derek O’Connor partnered two winners, the former multiple champion signing off aboard the Richie Harding-trained Karlie in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.
The patiently-ridden Karlie, a creditable fifth on her initial start at Kildorrery last month, made smooth to pick up the running after two out and she stormed clear before the last to contain Blue Milan by three lengths.
“She had a nice run at Kildorrery and she has stepped forwards from that,“ reported Harding of Karlie, owned by Ray Fitzgerald from Broomfield outside Midleton. “Derek [OConnor] thinks that she will have a good career on the track and she will go for a bumper now, provided that she’s not sold.“
O’Connor instigated his two-timer aboard the Ellmarie Holden-trained Kilandra in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. In a race that saw the final fence bypassed, Kilandra got on top in the closing stages to eclipse Street Value by two lengths.
“We were confident enough coming here and he could now go to a sale,“ said Ms Holden of her mother Catherine’s Kilandra, who finished fourth on his debut at Loughrea in October.
Barry O’Neill also rode two winners, both of whom were supplied by the absent Colin Bowe, and he opened his account aboard newcomer Maggies Mogul in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
Maggies Mogul, a daughter of Valirann, made all the running and she was already in command when her closest pursuer Flames Of Passion blundered at the last with two lengths ultimately separating the pair.
Bowe then steered Bowe’s Red Lion Lad, a son of Flemensfirth that’s out of a half-sister to the mighty Master Minded, to a clearcut debut success in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Red Lion Lad overtook long-time leader and eventual runner-up Thunder Rock, trained by Bartlemy-based Olivia Hegarty, before the last to score by a widening 10 lengths in the colours of the Milestone Racing Partnership.
It’s probable that Red Lion Lad will now be sold whilst the career of Thunder Rock, a son of Shirocco, must be followed with interest from here on in.
The Duhallow Foxhounds are scheduled to race at Dromahane next Sunday (2pm start).