THERE was some outstanding fare at yesterday’s Duhallow-Kanturk Point-to-Point meeting at Dromahane.
Fermoy-based handler Ciaran Fennessy, a former southern regional champion rider, was credited with his second success of the season following the authoritative frontrunning success of the Shane Baragry-ridden newcomer Rockanrye in the five-year-old mares’ maiden.
The Court Cave-sired Rockanrye (5/2-9/4), owned and bred by Patsy Murphy from Mayobridge in Down, was clearly possessing all the aces in front from the penultimate of the 13 obstacles and she stormed clear from the flat to beat From This Moment by a widening 10 lengths.
“She’s a decent mare and we were expecting that,” commented Fennessy, who has a 12-strong team of horses in harness this season.
“I think that she will be a real nice mare going forwards and I will leave future plans up to Patsy [Murphy].”
It certainly was a red-letter afternoon for 17-year-old Sarah McNamara from Asdee in County Kerry as she partnered a winner on her very first ride aboard the Turlough O’Connor-trained Cloudy Wednesday (10/1) in the closing five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden.
Cloudy Wednesday arrived from off the pace to lead on the outer with three fences remaining and he could be called the most likely winner from before the final fence, a length separating him from the Alan O’Sullivan-ridden runner-up Trojan Five.
Ms McNamara has been working with Newmarket-based handler O’Connor for the past year and a half. O’Connor, who also finished fourth aboard Colditz Castle in this same race, said of his aunt Irene Walsh’s homebred Cloudy Wednesday: “He’s a horse that jumps and travels and Sarah gave him a great ride. He has already run over hurdles and we will probably go for a maiden hurdle with him now.“
Richie Harding rode plenty of winners around Dromahane during his race-riding days and the Castletownroche native sent out Captain Broomfield (7/2), representing Ray Fitzgerald from Midleton, to win the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Captain Broomfield, an own-brother to Henry de Bromhead’s Captain Guinness that won a Grade 2 chase at Naas the previous afternoon, always took the eye from off the pace under Michael O’Sullivan and he went for his race on the run to three out. Whilst runner-up Forpaddtheplumber closed from the last, he was still one length adrift of the winning son of Arakan at the line.
“He’s a big horse that has just needed plenty of time and he has plenty of pace about him. He will now go to the Cheltenham sales next Friday,” reported Harding of the physically-imposing Captain Broomfield.
Johnny Barry kept his supporters happy by partnering an initial winner for County Wexford-based operator Mary Ellen Doyle aboard newcomer The Gunner Yeats (4/1- 3/1) in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden, much to the dismay of the 13 bookmakers present.
The Gunner Yeats recorded a pillar-to-post success with the winning son of Yeats returning with three lengths to spare over fellow debutant Not Long Left. The Gunner Yeats, in whom Tom Keating from County Tipperary also holds an interest, is likewise bound for this coming weekend’s Tattersalls sale after racing at Cheltenham.
Derek O’Connor will seldom ride an easier winner than he did aboard the Aidan Fitzgerald-trained newcomer Queens Vic (5/2) in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
Queens Vic, a Shirocco-sired three-parts sister to former Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco, eased to the front before two out to put 10 lengths between herself and James Hannon’s mount Peggy’s Cross.
Poli Roi (11/10) justified the five-hour trip from handler Stuart Crawford’s Larne base by making a triumphant return to action in the open. Poli Ro picked up the running for Crawford’s younger brother Ben after three out to beat long-time leader La Feline by two lengths.
Poli Roi will now run in the Down Royal hunters chase on St Stephen’s Day and the French-bred has the Cheltenham Foxhunters next March as his ultimate long-term objective.