THERE was some excellent fare at Sunday’s Duhallow – Kanturk point-to-point fixture at Dromahane.
Johnny Barry was the only rider to partner a two-timer with the Conna native opening his account aboard Mikey Kennedy’s If You Let Me in an eventful renewal of the four-year-old maiden.
If You Let Me (3/1 – 9/4), having finished a creditable third on his previous start at Lisronagh last month, appeared to be booked for second spot as the patiently-ridden newcomer Waynes World went to the front before two out and he was travelling best with in the region of a three-length advantage when spectacularly unseating at the final fence.
The British-bred If You Let Me was the one to then take advantage as he held on to contain the renewed effort of Jasmin Bellevue by a length.
Owner/trained Kennedy, who saw his Diamonds For Luck fall at the last when travelling best in the four-year-old maiden at Ballynoe the previous Sunday remarked: “He’s a very nice horse that had a good run in Lisronagh last month.
"He missed the second-last today and he will probably now go to the sales, but he’s also entered in the Goffs Land Rover bumper at the Punchestown festival.“
The David Murphy-trained newcomer Beechfield (4/1 – 3/1) brought up rider Barry’s brace in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Patiently-ridden, Beechfield made moved to the front after three out and he was actually joined before the last where he threw a fabulous jump.
The winning son of Sageburg then held on grimly in the closing stages to deny Kilbarry Hill by a short head in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.
“He’s a lovely horse that we bought as a three-year-old and he has always done everything very well at home,“ said handler Murphy of his father Jeff’s Beechfield in whom Kevin Kenneally from Beechfield in Fermoy also holds an interest.
Handler Declan Queally, out of luck with Waynes World in the four-year-old maiden, continued his outstanding season by sending out Rocky’s Howya (1/3) to win his sixth race of the campaign in the open.
Rocky’s Howya, an excellent fourth on his previous start in the Cheltenham Foxhunters on St Patrick’s Day, made all the running with regular partner Chris O’Donovan to dispose of Come To Me by a comprehensive 12 lengths.
Queally’s son and namesake remarked of the Mrs Margaret Kiely-owned Rocky’s Howya.
“He will stay pointing for the season and he could now come back to the Doneraile meeting here at Dromahane in two weeks’ time for the novice riders open before possibly running in the winners race here at the end of the month for horses that were maidens at the start of the season.“
It was a memorable afternoon for Newcestown-based Denis Wilson as he was credited with an initial success as a handler when newcomer Ma Bess (5/1) made a stylish winning debut under Alan O’Sullivan in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
The five-year-old Ma Bess, whom Wilson and his wife Hilary bought privately from breeder John Keniry outside Killeagh, stormed to the front some 100 yards out to dismiss dead-heaters’ Easy To Follow and You Are The Reason by a half-length.
Alan O’Sullivan’s first-cousin Maxine O’Sullivan now leads Moira McElligott by one in the lady riders’ championship (five – four) following her victory aboard her father Eugene O’Sullivan’s One Cool Citizen (2/1 – evens) in the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden.
The five-year-old One Cool Citizen, who was lying fifth when departing two out on his previous start at Liscarroll a fortnight earlier, assumed command from after four out to dismiss Abbie Fitzgibbon’s mount River Vale by 16 lengths.
The aforementioned Moira McElligott was earlier on the mark aboard her husband Willie Murphy’s Aghmorough Bridge (6/4) in the mares’ winners of two.
The patiently-ridden Aghmorough Bridge made smooth progress to lead from two out to defeat Sarah Jane by four lengths in the colours of the O’Toole Family Partnership.
On Wednesday, the annual Easter week Inch meeting takes place at Ballyknock (1.30pm start).