The annual Dawstown point-to-point meeting, run under the auspices of the Muskerry Foxhounds, took place at Birch Hill outside Grenagh yesterday and Chris O’Donovan maintained his rich vein of form by filling in for the currently sidelined Andy Burke Ott aboard ex-hurdler Inchidaly Copper in the closing six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.
Inchidaly Copper (3/1), trained by Burke Ott’s father Alex Ott outside Kanturk, stepped forwards from this second-placed effort at Stradbally last month by leading from the third last of the 14 obstacles. The eventual winner held an advantage of in the region of a length over the pursuing Lead The Field when the odds-on shot exited two out. Inchidaly Copper then readily maintained the tempo in the closing stages to see off Gunteur by three and a half lengths in the colours of Owen O’Flynn from Banteer.
Teenager Burke Ott reported:” It was nice to be able to give Chris [O’Donovan] a winner. We had this horse entered for the banks race at Punchestown, but he didn’t run there. He might go back over hurdles now for the summer. “ Burke Ott also disclosed that his younger brother Luke Burke Ott will have his first mount in the mares’ point-to-point bumper at Tipperary this Thursday aboard Zela Bella.
Lead The Field’s handler Robert Tyner and rider Derek O’Connor earlier combined to collect the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden aboard newcomer Keep On Digging (4/5), much to the dismay of the 11 bookmakers present. The towering five-year-old gelding Keep On Digging, owned by his trainer’s sister-in-law Catherine O’Driscoll from Bandon, gave an exhibition of fencing and he bounded clear before the last to beat fellow pacesetter Trojan Five by six lengths in the style of a progressive sort.
“He’s a fine big horse that jumps great and we’ll see what we will do with him now, “said Tyner of Keep On Digging, who was actually homebred by his wife Mary.
Susie Doyle maintained her advantage in the ladies championship by moving onto the nine-winner mark for the season aboard the Louise Lyons-trained Golden Bald (5/4 – 4/5) in the winners of two. The French-bred six-year-old Golden Bald, on whom 23-year-old Miss Doyle was winning on for the third time this season, overcame a few jumping errors by forging back to the front on the flat to beat Barnaleen by a half-length.
There was yet another close finish in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the afternoon in 14 runners, as Heros De Moutiers (3/1) stepped up from his second-placed effort at Castlelands in March by leading from before two out to see off Concetto by a half-length under Brian Lawless.
Heros De Moutiers’ handler Donnchadh Doyle remarked of Heros De Moutiers: “He had a couple of nice runs, he appreciated the better ground today and it was just a bit soft for him at Castlelands. I bought him as a yearling and he will now be sold. “ Doyle and Lawless were actually recording their second success of the day as they earlier collected the five-year-old mares’ maiden with newcomer Thermusa (5/1). However, the Kayf Tara-sired Thermusa had her task simplified as she was three lengths adrift of Baiser Inedit in second spot when James Hannon’s mount fell two out.
The Colin Bowe-trained newcomer Royal Defender (7/2), a son of Soldier Of Fortune, created a very favourable impression by leading from after three out with Barry O’Neill to come home at his leisure by 10 lengths in the first division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Pierce Power’s debutant Slade Steel (4/1) showed a devastating turn of foot with Sean Staples by forging to the front after two out to dismiss Sea Invasion by two lengths in the second split of this same contest. The Telescope-sired Slade Steel is owned by members of handler Power’s family who all hail from the Hook Head region in south Co Wexford.
Next Sunday, the action moves to Bartlemy for the United Hunt’s penultimate meeting of the season (2pm start)/