THE annual Carbery Foxhounds point-to-point fixture took place at Bandon on Sunday.
18-year-old Lombardstown native Alan O’Sullivan will certainly treasure fond memories of the meeting as he partnered an initial career-timer, the teenager signing off by landing a fiercely competitive winners of one aboard the Mikey Kennedy-trained Dundaniel.
Owned by the Executors of the late Pat O’Driscoll, the landowner of this meeting who sadly passed away last September, the eight-year-old Dundaniel (9/2) atoned for pulling up on his previous start at Aghabullogue last month by forging to the front well before the final fence.
The winning son of Getaway was always possessing too many aces for runner-up Nice To Meet thereafter, the ultimate winning margin being eight lengths.
The pair returned a further eight lengths adrift of the third-placed Golden De Couer.
In the absence of handler Kennedy, who was otherwise engaged at the Lisronagh meeting in Tipperary, the O’Driscoll family’s long-standing friend Paddy McCarthy remarked: “Pat [O’Driscoll] must have been looking down on us today.
"It’s great that Dundaniel has won here and he will probably go for another winners race now.“
Alan O’Sullivan will have been buoyed by his earlier success aboard Dashing Perk (5/4) in the novice riders open lightweight as the victorious 12-year-old is trained by his uncle Eugene O’Sullivan.
Dashing Perk, who finished second to former Grade 1 placed chaser Chatham Street Lad at Ballindenisk on New Year’s Day, moved through to join the frontrunning grey War Call well after the second-last.
The winning British-bred asserted on the long run to the final fence and he duly defeated War Call by a comprehensive eight lengths.
Handler O’Sullivan remarked of Dashing Perk, owned by his sister-in-law Irene Walsh: “It’s great that he has won here today and he will run in another open in two to three weeks time.“
Mikey O’Connor is experiencing a purple patch at present and the Liscarroll native kept his supporters happy by landing the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden aboard Rookery Woods (6/1), the very first horse incidentally that he has trained for owner/breeder Liam Sheahan of Gortnatona Stud outside Killarney.
The patiently-ridden Rookery Woods made smooth progress from before two out and he took the measure of favourite Dunworley from before the last to score by four and a half lengths.
“He’s a very nice horse and he will now go for a winners’ race, but I think that he will win a bumper on good ground,“ said O’Connor of Rookery Woods.
It’s worth recalling that O’Connor also won on Rookery Woods’ dam For Orla for the aforementioned Sheahan and his late father Donie Sheahan.
The Gerry Kelleher-trained On Lovers Walk (2/1) easily justified favouritism under 21-year-old Darragh Higgins from Ballymacoda in the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden, much to the chagrin of the nine bookmakers present.
The six-year-old On Lovers Walk,a fine fourth on his previous start at Ballyvodock last month, eased past the frotrunning mare Imperial Run on the long run from after two out to oblige by 20 lengths.
“He’s a horse that was bought as a three-year-old and if he’s not sold, he will go for a winners race and he should make a nice hunter chaser in time,“ said Macroom-based seven-horse handler Kelleher of On Lovers Walk, representing his nieces Abigail and Lucy Kelleher.
The closest finish of the day came in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden as the Niall Hennessy-owned/trained Lilian Bland (5/1), an ex handicap hurdler, made all the running on her points debut with James Hannon to beat well-supported favourite Glensaars Fortune by a diminishing neck.
“I bought her privately from her breeder Tony Slattery as a foal and her handicap experience really stood to her here,“ said one-horse handler Hennessy from Melleray outside Cappoquin.
“She’s a very slick jumper and I will probably now run her in a winners race.“
Sam Curling’s newcomer Hidden History (2/1), a British-bred son of Schiaparelli, made his way to the head of affairs before the last with Pa King to dismiss I Ballyadam Moon by two lengths in the opening five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
The West Waterford Foxhounds race at Castlelands outside Lismore next Sunday (1pm start).