Storm Dennis forces Avondhu Foxhounds meet in Fermoy to be called off after three races

Storm Dennis forces Avondhu Foxhounds meet in Fermoy to be called off after three races
G Hannon on Oscar Contender over the last to win from 2nd Declan Queally on Fenno's Storm (centre) and 3rd D. Allen on Concrete King in the Open lightweight race at Avondhu Point to Point races at Knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THERE was some stellar fare at the Avondhu Foxhounds point-to-point fixture at Knockanard, even if the stewards made the decision to abandon the meeting in the interests of safety after the third race.

This same third race was run in a driving shower of hailstones and, with the winds picking up noticeably during this contest and partially blowing over the weigh-tent, the stewards unfortunately were left with very little option but to call an early halt to proceedings.

James Hannon still experienced a terrific afternoon as he recorded a double, the Tallow amateur instigating his brace aboard the Mattie Collins-trained newcomer Tallow For Coal in the opening two and a half mile four-year-old maiden.

Tallow For Coal (3/1) disputed the running with Lumpy Luna until going for home from the fourth last of the 12 obstacles. The winning son of Arctic Cosmos held a four-length advantage when blundering three out, but the pursuing Lumpy Luna fell here and he then brought down Telhimlisten.

Kate and Hilary Williamson, Mourneabbey at Avondhu Point to Point races at Knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Kate and Hilary Williamson, Mourneabbey at Avondhu Point to Point races at Knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Tallow For Coal wasn’t in the slightest danger thereafter and he duly powered clear to contain What A Time by a distance with the pair being the only finishers from the five runners that set out.

“He’s a very simple, straightforward horse and the plan now is that he will hopefully go to the Cheltenham sales next Friday,“ reported Castlemartyr-based handler Collins of his son Pat’s Tallow For Coal, a graduate of the 2019 Fairyhouse May sale that’s a half-brother to two black-type placed horses in Humbie and Behemoth.

Hannon will have attained immense satisfaction from his success aboard Tallow For Coal as the gelding was actually bred by his parents James Senior and Marian.

Hannon doubled up by steering Harry Kelly’s Oscar Contender (3/1) to victory in the open lightweight, the race that attracted the biggest field of the afternoon in seven runners.

The nine-year-old Oscar Contender, who was fitted with cheekpieces, made his way to the front before the final fence to see off Fenno’s Storm by three lengths with the pair returning a similar clear of the third-placed Concrete King.

In handler Kelly’s absence, Jason Walsh, son of Oscar Contender’s owner Mrs Mary Walsh and her late husband Noel reported: “If the ground comes up soft, Oscar Contender will probably go for the Tetretema Cup hunters chase at Gowran Park next month.“

Buttevant native Shane Fitzgerald continued his fine season by landing the five-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard Mick Goff’s File Illico (9/4). One of five newcomers in the six-runner field, File Illico was always positioned close to the pace and he moved through to challenge long-time leader Three Nations from the fourth last.

Aine O'Donoghue loses her boot in the mud at Avondhu Point to Point races at Knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Aine O'Donoghue loses her boot in the mud at Avondhu Point to Point races at Knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The winning French-bred assumed command three out and he stormed clear on the run to the final fence, showing a devastating turn of foot in the process, to account for Salt Wind by a distance in the style of a horse that we will be hearing a lot more about.

“This horse got a cut last season and that’s why he didn’t run then, “confessed handler Goff of his wife Catriona’s File Illico.

“He worked very well last Tuesday and he’s a horse that should be very nice in time.”

Next Sunday, the annual Kildorery meeting takes place at Rockmills Stud (1.30pm start).

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