THERE was some competitive fare at Wednesday’s flat meeting at Cork racecourse and Castlelyons-based handler Rodger Sweeney kept his supporters happy by sending out Matilda With Me to win the second division of the closing Follow Us On Twitter Handicap.
The four-year-old Matilda With Me, having finished second on her two previous starts, stylishly picked up the running one and a half furlongs out with Leigh Roche and she was always in command thereafter with one and a quarter lengths separating her from Anfaass.
“She had very good form coming here and, whilst she is mad for hurdles, we will keep to the flat," said handler Sweeney of the Thomas Murphy-owned Matilda With Me.
Noel Meade’s Evergreen And Red brought up a notable gamble by justifying major market support on his seasonal debut in the Mallow Apprentice 3-Y-O Handicap.
Evergreen And Red, supported from 16/1 the previous evening into 15/2 on course, made smooth progress from just behind the leaders to hit the front some one and a half furlongs out with Danny Sheehy. The winning son of Requinto, who was rated 44 coming into this race, was always in command after and he defeated El C Wells by one and a half lengths.
”The instructions beforehand were to switch him off and I got onto the rail. He travelled lovely and he hit the line well," winning jockey Sheehy said.
The Tommy Stack-trained Can’thelpfallin stepped up from her fourth-placed effort here last month by landing the Fermoy Maiden over seven furlongs.
Can’thelpfallin, a £50,000 acquisition as a yearling, made progress from mid-division with Mark Enright (who was celebrating his 29th birthday) to lead on the outer over 100 yards out to beat Golden Lyric by three parts of a length.
“She ran a nice race here [at Cork] the last day and is a big filly that has taken time,“ said Stack of Can’thelpfallin.
“Mark [Enright] rides her a good bit of the time at home and she will be better going over a mile.“
Previous Cork course form likewise played a crucial role in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden for two-year-olds’ as Aidan O’Brien’s Amalfi Coast, runner-up to a smart sort in Strapped here on May 7, justified 10/11 favouritism with Seamie Heffernan.
Amalfi Coast made all the running and he seemed destined for a comfortable success when powering clear over a furlong out. However, newcomer Diamant Damsha closed menacingly as the line approached with just a head separating the pair.
Heffernan reported of Amalfi Coast: ”It was his third run and it’s amazing, but he’s still a little green.“
The form of the Strapped race at Cork on May 7 was even further advertised when the third-placed finisher there Harmony Rose won the Irish EBF Stallion Auction Maiden over five furlongs.
The Ken Condon-trained filly Harmony Rose responded to Shane Foley’s urgings by powering to the front inside the final furlong to beat Loveday by a half-length.
Handler Condon, who hails from nearby Ballyhea, remarked: ”Aidan’s horse [Amalfi Coast] won earlier and it augured well for our filly.
"Swas always happy with her and he thinks that she could get some black-type. She’s a very honest filly that’s only 14 ‘3’hh.”
Shane Foley went on to complete a quick double by landing the Cork Racecourse 3-Y-O Handicap over five furlongs aboard Keith Watson’s Iva Batt.
The Armagh challenger Iva Batt edged into a narrow advantage on the inner rail a furlong out and held on determinedly in the closing stages to account for The Highway Rat by a neck.
Handler Watson is presently in hospital with his son and assistant Marshall remarking: ”Iva Batt really would prefer quicker ground and she will go for either a premier handicap or a listed race for fillies’ (Land O’Burns Stakes) in Ayr.“
Keith Watson was responsible for two winners as he also struck with Odd Venture in the first division of the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap.
Odd Venture took command from the two furlongs out to provide Sorcha Woods (21) from Naas with a very first winner.
“The plan was to drop him in here,“ said Marshall Watson of Odd Venture.
“He had been hurdling, but that didn’t suit him and he’s enjoying the flat a bit more. Sorcha is riding well and is worth her 10 lbs claim.“
Joseph O’Brien was on the mark with Grid in the Follow Us On Instagram Maiden.
Grid stepped up from his recent third-placed effort at Naas by making his way to the front a furlong out to beat Handel under Shane Crosse.