Jockey Chris O'Donovan is the star at the Avondhu Point to Point with two winners

The Shanballymore native opened his account aboard Declan Queally’s admirable servant Fenno’s Storm in the open lightweight.
Jockey Chris O'Donovan is the star at the Avondhu Point to Point with two winners

Frank O'Flynn, Fermoy; Dan Fleming, Blarney and Pat McCurtin, Fermoy at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THERE was some stellar action at Sunday’s Avondhu Foxhounds point-to-point meeting at Knockanard.

Chris O’Donovan was the only rider to partner two winners on the six-race card, the Shanballymore native opening his account aboard Declan Queally’s admirable servant Fenno’s Storm in the open lightweight.

Fenno’s Storm (4/1) was bounced out in front and he had to be pushed along at various stages from half-way. 

The victorious 11-year-old seemed to have a major battle on his plate when Macs Legend joined issue on the demanding climb from the penultimate of the 14 obstacles. 

Fenno’s Storm however refused to yield and he bravely kept pulling out that little bit more in the closing stages to see off Gerry Kelleher’s 14-year-old Macs Legend by a neck in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.

“He’s a very tough horse and he stays going all day,“ said handler Queally’s son and namesake of Fenno’s Storm, who has won 10 points plus three races ‘inside the rails’ in the colours of Stradbally, Co Waterford-based owner Maurice Walsh. 

“He has been a great servant to us over the years and hopefully, he can win another open now.“ 

O’Donovan brought up his two-timer by teaming up with Michael Winters to collect the mares’ winner of one aboard Clounts Glory (4/1). 

The odds-on favourite Knockraha Katie set out to make all here, but she was headed on landing two out by Clounts Glory and the victorious seven-year-old then drew clear on the flat to beat Bankoncarlo by two and a half lengths.

“She’s a very honest mare that loved the soft ground here today and she jumped for fun,“ reported Winters of Clounts Glory, owned by brothers Dan and Billy Horgan from Rathmore in Co Kerry. 

“She will run away in mares’ races now and we might also go for a hunters chase with her at some stage as well.“ 

There’s nothing quite like winning at home and Paul Cashman, one of the clerks of course and who trains literally adjacent to the course in Glenview Stud, sent out the one-eyed Present Fair (5/2) to win the closing five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden.

The five-year-old Present Fair stepped forwards from his fourth-place effort behind An Tobar at Ballyvodock two weeks earlier by making virtually all the running with James Murphy, who was posting his sixth success in points, to beat Ciaran Fennessy’s newcomer mare Blooming Fortune by three lengths.

Tara O'Sullivan, Castlelyons and Sam O'Driscoll, Ballyhooley at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Tara O'Sullivan, Castlelyons and Sam O'Driscoll, Ballyhooley at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cashman remarked of his mother Catherine’s Present Fair: ”I’m delighted to win with him and my biggest worry was the soft ground. 

"He’s a lovely horse that’s a real old-fashioned staying chaser.“ 

Brian Dunleavy is experiencing a fine campaign and the Dungourney native teamed up with Tom Keating to capture the six-year-old and upwards novice riders maiden aboard recent Ballyvodock runner-up Hattons Gardens (5/1).

Having blundered three out, Hattons Gardens made progress from the second-last and he took the measure of the mare Chitchat Sally on the flat to then dispose of the staying-on Grey Market by four lengths. Hattons Gardens is now likely to be sold.

There were some seven runners in the four-year-old maiden, a two and a half mile contest that was won by Ferny Hollow in 2019. 

It was Colin Bowe of course that started off Ferny Hollow in points and the Milestone Stables operator won this year’s renewal with Captain Teague (5/2).

Aoife Shinnick with Jack and Lilly Cotter, Fermoy at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Aoife Shinnick with Jack and Lilly Cotter, Fermoy at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The Doyen-sired Captain Teague, an embryonic chasing type that’s a half-brother to last season’s Grand Annual Chase winner Sky Pirate, went clear after the second last to dismiss Marie Harding’s Ballyline Man by eight lengths in the hands of Barry O’Neill.

The Harley Dunne-trained State Of Power (9/2) atoned for falling four out on his debut at Dromahane on December 30th by posting a fine frontrunning performance with Tiernan Power Roche to claim victory in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the day in 14 runners.

Brian Lynch and his grandson James Lynch from Knock, Fermoy at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Brian Lynch and his grandson James Lynch from Knock, Fermoy at the Avondhu Point to Point races at knockanard, Fermoy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

State Of Power, having been joined briefly on the ascent from two out, was in the region of one and a half lengths clear of his closest pursuers Joy Of Life and Giovinco when the pair both fell at the final fence. State Of Power was then left clear to beat Johnny Rose by 50 lengths.

Next Sunday, the annual Kildorrery meeting takes place at Rockmills Stud (planned 12.30 pm start).

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