The Gain Feeds & Amber Oil Service Station, Fermoy older mares’ maiden will live long in the memory of 18-year-old Alannah Budds from Killeagh, as she rode her initial points winner aboard her cousin Ken Budd’s Mrs Mcro.
West Vintage appeared the most likely winner once edging into a commanding eight-length advantage from two-out. The latter ran extremely wide off the bend well before the final fence, leaving up Mrs Mcro, who was only seventh with four fences remaining, to come through and join issue on the flat.
There was then very little to separate the pair until the winning six-year-old got on top in the dying strides to oblige by a neck.
The successful rider, who won a flat race on Here For The Craic at Tipperary last summer, is presently studying for her Leaving Cert at Pobalscoil Na Trionoide in Youghal.
Handler Budds remarked: "It's great that Mrs Mcro has won and I'm delighted to give Alannah a winner. She rides out for me at the weekends, now that she's studying for her Leaving Cert and she's a terrific worker."
All nine runners in the Coolagown Stud & AIB Fermoy four-year-old maiden were newcomers and the Colin Bowe-trained Ferny Hollow created a hugely favourable impression by coming home as he pleased in the hands of Jimmy O'Rourke.
The son of Westerner who traces back to Morley Street and Granville Again, was quickly bounced out in front and he made virtually all the running.
Although blundering two-out, the victorious early-April foal readily asserted on the stiff climb from this penultimate obstacle and he duly powered clear to beat Bloodstone by a widening 15 lengths.
Purchased by his handler's Kiltealy-based cousin JJ Bowe for €38,000 at last year's Derby sale, this embryonic chaser is likely to be seen in new colours when racing again.
The biggest field of the day of 15 runners lined up in the Rathbarry Stud & Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings’ maiden and it was run at a blistering pace throughout with the Seamus Neville-trained Notice To Close springing a major surprise under Mikey O'Connor.
They grey who fell and pulled up on his previous two points starts, led from the fourth fence and he had Barrowlands as his closest pursuer until the latter moved past before two-out. Notice To Close however refused to yield and the victorious son of Martaline stormed back to the fore after the final fence to beat Barrowlands by a neck.
"We hadn't given a lot of thought to it, but I suppose he will go to the track now," said businessman Neville of his wife Ina's gelding, one of six horses that he and son William have in harness at their Bridgetown base in Wexford.
Owner/trainer Tom Keating's Pay Later vindicated the promise of his most recent fourth-placed effort behind Carrigmoorna Pine at Kilfeacle on January 27th by providing 22-year-old rider Jamie Scallan with an eighth career success in this closing contest in the Coolmore & Grange Stud & Shinnicks Spar Fermoy six-year-old geldings’ maiden for novice riders.
The six-year-old was another to benefit from pacesetting tactics and he could be called the most likely winner once edging into a couple of lengths advantage on the run to two-out. The winning son of Kayf Tara however gave his supporters major cause for alarm by jumping out to the left at the final fence.
Runner-up Occupied wasn't able to capitalise in any way and he was still some two lengths adrift at the line.
"He ran well the last day at Kilfeacle and handled the soft ground here today. If I still have him, he will go for a winners of one," said Keating.
Riordans Supervalu & Cafe Ed Fermoy mares’ winner of one was run at a sensible pace and the Michael Winters-trained Osca Loca supplemented her Belharbour maiden success from two weeks earlier, by benefiting from a well-judged waiting ride from Chris O'Donovan to beat Rosfoyle.
The six-year-old was representing the Executors of the late Carl Beame, always took the eye in running and she eased through to go third after two-out. She then stormed past long-time leader Cool Dove before the last and although Rosfoyle went second some 75 yards out, there was still some three lengths between the pair at the line.
"She is a staying type of mare that settled well and she loved the ground out there today. We will now train her for the mares' hunters chase at Cork over Easter," said Winters.
Glenview Stud & McCarthy Insurance Group, Fermoy five-year-old and upwards adjacent maiden saw Araglen-based owner/trainer Sean Allen sent out Concrete King to record a popular local success in the hands of his younger brother Darragh.
The five-year-old who was still lying in third spot when falling at the final fence in West Cork Wildway's Boulta maiden over two months earlier, was always positioned towards the head of affairs and he made the best of his way home from four-out. The winning son of Morozov was well in command from the second last and he duly defeated Fanahans Well by 10 lengths.
"He's a grand horse that I bought at the Land Rover sale as a three-year-old. He got two thumping falls before Christmas and it's great that he has won this race for us," said the successful handler.