THE annual Lisgoold fixture, which wasn’t staged last year, took place under the auspices of the United Hunt at Ballindenisk and the Patsy Leahy-trained mare Oscar Tonic once again showed her appreciation for this right-handed circuit by triumphing under regular partner Darragh Allen in the winners of two.
The seven-year-old Oscar Tonic (6/4), who won her maiden here last month having also finished second at this same venue in November 2020, made all the running and she was already travelling better than odds-on favourite Red Vision when throwing the faster jump at the last with two lengths ultimately separating the pair.
“She’s a very game mare that’s full of heart," reported Conna-based handler Leahy of his wife Claire’s Oscar Tonic, whom he purchased at the 2018 Fairyhouse August sale. “She will probably now go for a mares’ race at the Carrigtwohill meeting later this month."
Eugene O’Sullivan’s It Came To Pass (5/4) provided further credence to the accepted maxim ‘once a good horse, always a good horse’ by recording his initial success since winning the 2020 renewal of the 2020 Cheltenham Foxhunters in the novice riders open.
The 12-year-old It Came To Pass led from two out with first-time partner Cal Shine and he was always in command from the last as he returned with two lengths to spare over fellow veteran Killultagh Vic.
“It Came To Pass probably handles soft ground a bit better these days,“ reported handler O’Sullivan’s daughter Maxine, who of course partnered the gelding to his memorable Cheltenham success almost two years ago. “We will now run him in another open and hopefully he will go back to Cheltenham for the Foxhunters.“
Declan Queally, having saddled Young Fitzy to win at Tramore the previous afternoon, continued his rich vein of form by sending out Desert Fortune (1/2) to win under stable amateur Chris O’Donovan in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
Desert Fortune, owned by Henry Gettings from Rathcormac, certainly brought best form to the table considering that she finished second to Copperfasten on her debut in a vintage Boulta maiden on December 12th and she powered clear from the penultimate of the 12 obstacles to readily defeat newcomer Potters Princess by eight lengths.
“I felt that she stepped forwards from Boulta and I was expecting a performance like that, “divulged Queally of Desert Fortune. “Chris [O’Donovan] gave her a lovely ride and she will now go to the Cheltenham sales.“
Potters Princess’ rider Derek O’Connor still kept his supporters happy as he teamed up with long-standing ally Sam Curling to collect the five-year-old geldings’ maiden with newcomer Red Dirt Road (3/1), a son of Fame And Glory that’s owned and bred by Walter Connors. Red Dirt Road made virtually all the running to defeat Corbetts Cross by four lengths.
“He’s a very nice horse that has just taken a bit of time and he loved that soft ground,“ said handler Curling of Red Dirt Road.
Knockraha Katie (9/2) provided Knockraha-based owner Benjy O’Donoghue and his family with a very first winner at this Lisgoold meeting by benefiting from front-running tactics to claim victory in the six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden. The Finian Maguire-ridden Knockraha Katie was holding the upper hand over the pursuing Larkfield Legacy when Richard Rath’s charge exited at the last.
The aforementioned Rath still featured amongst the winners as his newcomer Joe’s Turn (4/1) led from before two out with Harley Dunne to win the second division of the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden. Meanwhile, Joe Ryan’s Dime A Dozen (5/1) led from the fourth fence with James Hannon to see off Ahaknowyerself in the first part of this same closing contest.
Next Sunday, the point-to-point action moves to Aghabullogue for the annual Muskerry Foxhounds meeting at Dromatimore (12.30pm start).