THERE was some outstanding racing at Thursday’s Duhallow-Kanturk Point to Point at Dromahane and Declan Queally continued his fine season by sending out newcomer The Grey Monty to make a winning debut with Chris O’Donovan in the opening four-year-old mares’ maiden on an extremely wet afternoon.
The French-bred The Grey Monty (4/1), a grey coloured daughter of Montmarte, always travelled well and she moved through to join issue three out before forging clear from the penultimate of the 13 obstacles to account for Coin Basket by three lengths.
“She’s a nice filly that was always doing things nicely at home and I’m not at all surprised that she has won,“ said Queally of his mother Bernie’s The Grey Monty, a daughter of Elimay’s sire Montmartre.
It certainly proved to be a red-letter afternoon for 20-year-old Michael Looney from Kilavullen as he partnered a very first winner aboard Paddy Cronin’s homebred mare O Mio Babbino (4/1) in the closing five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden for novice riders.
The five-year-old O Mio Babbino, who shaped well by coming fifth in a Tramore maiden hurdle in October, led from the third obstacle and she was all of a fence clear setting out on the final circuit. Whilst the pack closed somewhat from two out, O Mio Babbino was realistically never going to be caught and she ultimately came home with 15 lengths to spare over Rocknroll Stand.
"She’s a mare that has always shown a bit and it’s great to give Michael [Looney] his first winner as he rides out with me a bit," reported Doneraile-based Cronin.
Looney for his part also rides out for the likes of Paul O’Flynn, Richie Harding and Michelle Duggan.
There was drama aplenty in the first division of the four-year geldings’ maiden as Champagne Fire fell at the last when holding a two-length advantage and the Thomond O’Mara-trained son of Doyen was clearly going best at the time.
The pursuing Faulty also came to grief here and that paved the way for Darragh Allen’s mount Twinjets (5/1), trained by Donie Hassett, to come through to land the spoils. The Jet Away-sired debutant Twinjets finished alone, a most unusual occurrence in point-to-points.
Darragh Allen hails from Araglen and Eoin O’Brien was another Cork-based rider to feature amongst the winners, the Mitchelstown native teaming up with Mikey Kennedy to win the third division of this same contest aboard the towering newcomer Weveallbeencaught (7/1).
The Getaway-sired Weveallbeencaught readily came through to pick up the running between the final two fences to see off Supreme Commander by three lengths in the style of a most progressive sort.
“He’s a gorgeous big horse that has always gone well and he will probably now be sold,“ remarked Innishannon-based handler Kennedy of the Conor Murphy-owned Weveallbeencaught.
James Hannon, so cruelly out of luck aboard Champagne Fire, still featured amongst the winners as he joined forces with Liam Casey to collect the first division of the five-year-old gelding’s maiden aboard Grey Skies (3/1).
Owned by Casey’s father Donal, Grey Skies stepped up from his most recent third-placed Moig South effort by forging clear from three out to contain New Edge by four lengths.
Sam Curling and Pa King have experienced a good run of success over the past few months and the Tipperary-based pair teamed up to take the second division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden with Inch House (8/1).
The Ocovango-sired first-timer Inch House, owned by Curling but in whom a couple of racing enthusiasts from The Ragg outside Thurles also hold an interest, was always in a prominent position and he drew clear before the last to beat Are U Wise To That by three lengths.
Gordon Elliot, having been responsible for 10 winners over Christmas, continued his present purple patch by sending out Mighty Stowaway (evens) to win the open in the hands of Barry O’Neill. Much to the dismay of the 12 bookmakers present Mighty Stowaway, who was fitted with cheekpieces, recorded his third success of the season by mastering Turlough O’Connor’s gallant mount Cloudy Tuesday from two out to score by four lengths.
“We’re having great fun with him this season," said Mighty Stowaway’s owner Camilla Sharples, a key member of Elliot’s Cullentra House Stables outfit who was on lead-up duty. “We will give him a few easy weeks ago and he could be entered for the Cheltenham Foxhunters."