THE first Dromahane point-to-point meeting of the season took place in the form of a Duhallow – Kanturk fixture at the ever-dependable north Cork circuit on Sunday and the Micheal Griffin-trained Giovinco hinted that a bright track career lies in wait by landing the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
The Walk In The Park-sired Giovincov (5/2 – 2/1), who was lying a close third when falling at the final fence in a most competitive Knockanard contest last season, was held up well off the pace by Tom Feeney in this seven-runner contest.
Although erring five out, he eased his way into contention from the third last of the 13 obstacles and he made his way to the front just after the last.
Whilst runner-up Quantum Realm rallied to terrific effect inside the final 75 yards, the Terence O’Brien-trained newcomer was still a head adrift of Giovinco in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.
“Tom [Feeney] was so patient on him and he gave him a great ride, “ said Knockacool-based handler Griffin of his brother Colm’s homebred Giovinco, whose dam is a half-sister to Rocky Creek and Tell Massini.
“He has improved a lot both mentally and physically from last season. He will now go to the sales. “
The Michael Winters-trained Churchtown Gigi (5/2) made a winning debut under Chris O’Donovan in the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden.
The five-year-old Churchtown Gigi eased ever closer from five out and he then made the best of his way home from the third-last to contain the staying on Worth Presenting by a length in the colours of his part-breeder Jimmy Gordon.
“He’s a lovely staying horse that was never away from home for a schooling bumper or anything like that,“ said Winters of the Via Venturo-sired Churchtown Gigi.
“With his staying pedigree, I was hopeful that he would go on the soft ground.
"If he’s not sold, he will go for a winner's race.“
The late Donie Sheehan from Killarney, who died last year aged 95, was the other joint breeder of Churchtown Gigi and it was fitting that his son Liam was on hand to join in post-race celebrations.
Dungourney rider Brian Dunleavy returned to the coveted number one slot aboard the Ellen Doyle-trained newcomer Pinot Rouge (6/1) in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
However, Pinot Rouge had definite luck on her side as Pinot Rouge was all of 15 lengths adrift of Theatre Native when Donnchadh Doyle’s hugely promising newcomer fell with Rob James at the last.
Similarly, the final fence also plays a crucial role in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden as Ellemarie Holden’s Mirazur West, an own-brother to Ferny Hollow, held in region of a two and a half-length advantage when cruelly coming to grief here.
The John Nallen-trained Minella Double (7/1), a penultimate fence faller on his only previous start here at Dromahane last April, was the one to take advantage as the three parts brother to Death Duty stayed on with Johnny Barry to beat Fermoy-based owner/trainer Pat Crowley’s promising newcomer Ballybrack Wood by five lengths.
The former southern regional champion rider Mikey O’Connor got off the mark for the campaign by landing the open aboard Seamus Neville’s recent Kinsale runner-up Notice To Close (5/2 – 2/1).
The grey Notice To Close, a former four-time track winner, benefited from frontrunning tactics as he led or disputed the running throughout en-route to accounting for Noel Meade’s Snow Falcon by five lengths.
“He travelled through that ground and he’s back to close on his best form from a few years ago,“ remarked handler Neville of his wife Ina’s Notice To Close.
The Michael Mangan-trained All About Lucy (2/1), having been left in front when fractional leader Dixies Girl fell three out, beat Tinkerbay by three and a half lengths under Derek O’Connor in the five-year-old mares’ maiden.
All About Lucy is incidentally owned by John Sayers from Listowel.
The next meeting in the Cork and Waterford region takes place at Boulta on Sunday November 27th.
Goffs Tingle Creek Sale 4-Y-O Mares’ Maiden of €800. 3 Miles Baltimore Stables Syndicate’s Pinot Rouge ch f (Vendangeur – Moanbaun Lady) 11-11 Mr B Dunleavy Ms M Tynan-Phelan’s Alo’s Vision 11-11 Mr S J P Baragry P N McCormack’s Lily’s Choice 11-11 Mr J W Hannon 9 ran. 2L, 3L. Only 2 Horses Finished. (Winner trained by Mary E Doyle)
Tattersalls NH 4-Y-O Geldings’ Maiden of €800. 3 Miles J Nallen’s Minella Double b g (Shantou – Lady Dromlac) 11-11 Mr J C Barry P Crowley’s Ballybrack Wood 11-11 Mr E P O’Brien O Mahon’s Syracus Du Houx (FR) 11-11 Mr J W Hannon 13 ran. 5L, 1L, 4L. (Winner trained by John Nallen) Dairygold & Pegus Horse Feeds 5-Y-O Mares’ Maiden of €800. 3 Miles J Sayers’ All About Lucy b m (Fame And Glory – Way Back When) 11-11 Mr D O’Connor P G J Murphy’s Tinkerbay 11-11 Mr E P O’Brien Mrs M Archdeacon’s Cailin Beag 11-6 Mr C J Shine 6 ran. 3 1/2L, 8L. Only 3 Horses Finished. (Winner trained by Michael M Mangan)
Ornella Underwriting Ltd 5-Y-O Geldings’ Maiden of €800. 3 Miles C Griffin’s Giovinco b g (Walk In The Park – Whyalla) 12-2 Mr T Feeney T O’Brien’s Quantum Storm 12-2 Mr D Allen A M O’Grady Find A Fortune 12-2 Mr J C Barry 7 ran. Hd, 4L, 8L. (Winner trained by Michael C Griffin) Open Lightweight of €1, 750. 3 Miles Mrs S Neville’s Notice To Close gr g (Martaline – L’ame Soeur) 8-12-2 Mr M J O’Connor Mrs P Hunt’s Snow Falcon 12-11-11 Mr J Dunne G O’Loughlin’s Space Cadet 12-12-2 Mr D O’Connor 6 ran. 5L, 12L, 2L. (Winne trained by Seamus Neville) Singletons SuperValu 5-Y-O & Upwards Adjacent Hunts Maiden of €1, 750. 3 Miles J Gordon’s Churchtown Gigi b g (Vita Venturi – For Gortnatona) 5-12-2 Mr M C O’Donovan D Duggan’s Worth Presenting 8-11-11 Mr M K Tobin Tribes Royals and Rebels Syndicate’s Captain Ocana 5-11-11 Mr C J Shine 11 ran. 1L, Nk, 30L. (Winner trained by Michael Winters).