THERE was some competitive fare at yesterday’s West Waterford Foxhounds point-to-point meeting and the Boulta fixture is one that will live long in the memory of Brian Barry from nearby Conna as, having rode an initial career winner over fences at the Listowel festival in September, the 18-year-old was credited with his initial success ‘between the flags’ courtesy of Burning Ambition in the open lightweight.
The Jimmy Mangan-trained Burning Ambition (4/1), who won two hunter chases and five point-to-points when under the care of Pierse Power, stepped up from his fourth-placed return effort at Rathcannon last month by making his way to the front after the second last of the 14 obstacles.
The winning 10-year-old, owned by Mangan’s wife Mary, held on valiantly in the closing stages as runner-up Westerner Point got to within three parts of a length of him at the line. The pair returned a further half-length clear of the third-placed Pallaskenry.
“It’s great to give Brian [Barry] a win here locally. This horse will stay pointing for the season for Brian to ride,“ said handler Mangan.
It certainly was an afternoon of firsts as 20-year-old Emily Cody from Dunamaggin likewise was credited with an initial career success aboard her mother Debbie Cody’s Exit Eleven (evens) in the closing winners of one.
Exit Eleven made amends for finishing second on his previous two starts by easing to the front on the outer after the third last and he swept clear from two out to beat the only other finisher Pennywell Girl by 20 lengths.
Miss Cody is presently in her first year studying veterinary at UCD.
Exit Eleven is owned and bred by Joe Walsh from Mullinavat.
He remarked: ”This horse was rated 116 over fences at one stage. Emily gets on very well with him and he’s a horse that likes nice ground. If it stays dry, he could run in the maiden hunters chase at Limerick over Christmas.“
James Hannon kept his many local supporters happy by combining with long-standing ally Harry Kelly to capture the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden aboard newcomer Hot As Pepper (6/4), much to the dismay of the three bookmakers present.
The Milan-sired Hot As Pepper was always positioned close to the pace and she mastered ex track performer Eightytwo Team inside the final 50 yards to score by one and a half lengths.
“She was fancied to win coming here, but she was quite green and she should improve a lot,“ commented Fethard-based owner/trainer Kelly of Hot As Pepper, in whom professional jumps jockey Sean Flanagan and breeder CJ Doyle from County Wexford also hold an involvement.
Owner/trainer/breeder Breandan Long, a doctor from Danesfort in Kilkenny, sent out Still Ciel (11/4) to win on debut in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
Sadie Hill made the best of her way home from two out, but Still Ciel powered past after the final fence to oblige by two and a half lengths in the hands of Tom Hamilton.
Long’s representative Colin Tobin, who hails from Tallow, said: ”Still Ciel is a nice filly and Tom [Hamilton] gave her a lovely ride. We will bring her home and make a plan. I’m also delighted as she’s our first winner on the Cork and Waterford circuit.“
The Mark Fahey-trained newcomer Found A Fifty (5/2) created a very favourable impression by annihilating the opposition on debut with Brian Lawless in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.
In a race that was run in a partial fog, Found A Fifty eased to the front on the incline to two out and he was well in command on the run to the final fence.
The winning son of Solskjaer was clearly possessing all the aces when his closest pursuer Pembroke fell here, when in the region of five lengths adrift, and he then returned with 15 lengths to spare over runner-up Global Assembly.
With Monasterevin-based handler Fahey on duty at Fairyhouse, his father Thomas reported: ”Found A Fifty is a horse that has always been doing everything right, but I wasn’t expecting a performance like that. We’re obviously thrilled with him and he will probably now go to a sale.“
Just two out of the four runners in the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden completed the course with Access Granted (5/2), who was fitted with cheekpieces, justifying the lengthy trek from handler Ian Donoghue’s County Meath stables by making most of the running for Barry Stone to beat Champagne Gift by a head in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.
Next Saturday, there’s racing at Ballindenisk (12 noon start).