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Report | Loughanmore 31st Mar 18

"“I told them that I thought he was better than the other two and maybe they will believe me now”"

The first of the two-day meeting at Loughanmore took place on Saturday and the afternoon proved to be a very poignant one as Pat Coffey's colour were ridden to victory on two occasions.

There were emotional scenes in the winners’ enclosure as relatives and friends of the late Patrick McCormack, from Nenagh, County Tipperary welcomed in the winner of the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Sales five-year-old mares' maiden, Lough Derg Rose.

Patrick, who was training Lough Derg Rose for his uncle Pat Coffey, tragically passed away following a farming accident in January.  Now in the care of Denis Murphy, the daughter of Stowaway quickened to the lead before the last and kept on well in the hands of Jamie Codd to score by eight-lengths over Jasper Bear.

“I only have her six-weeks and the work was done with her.  I can’t take any credit for this.  Young Patrick bought the mare too so it means a lot to all the family,” reported Murphy.

The Connolly Red Mills five-year-old geldings' maiden attracted the biggest field of the day with fifteen runners going to post, Norwegian Woods came home in front by five-lengths under Jamie Codd to Diomede Des Mottes, providing connections with a most sentimental double.

“Jamie said he got there a bit soon but when he got to the front he ran away from them and galloped to the line," divulged Co.Wexford based handler, Murphy.  "He will make a nice horse on better ground.  He will win a lot of races and could be a nice summer horse."

Norwegian Woods was purchased by Patrick for his uncle at the 2016 Goffs Land Rover Sale for €9,000. The son of Arcadio is a half-brother to Thomas Cummins’ multiple winner Aughnacurraveel who scored three times in points and seven on the track.

"It has been a very tough time for the family.  It’s been great to have both horses winning today. They will both head to the sales," commented Coffey.

The opening Barclay Communication four-year-old mares' maiden looked a decent contest which saw more than half the field still in contention at the penultimate obstacle. Tara West made most of the running and was briefly headed by Little Light before the last, where the two pulled clear of their rivals.

The Donnachadh Doyle-trained daughter of Kayf Tara battled well under a strong drive from Rob James to prevail by a head on the line. Tara West was purchased for £24,000 to run in the Monbeg Syndicate colours and will now return to the sales ring.

"She ran a bit green but she will come on for that.  They went steady early on which I don’t think helped but she finished well.  She is a tough mare and should win plenty of races," noted Doyle.

There was a competitive renewal for the Dennison Commercials Ltd four-year-old geldings' maiden which saw the Stuart Crawford-trained newcomer Malone Road record the fastest time on the day. The son of Kalanisi moved stylishly through the field to take up the running approaching the last and despite a slow jump at the final obstacle that allowed eventual second, Solider at War, to briefly regain the lead, Malone Road battled well on the run-in to score by three-and-a-half lengths.

Malone Road is a half-brother to Ravenshill Road and Windsor Avenue, both of whom won their respective maidens for owner/breeder Jane Buchanan when in the care of Crawford and have since recorded wins on the track for Brian Ellison.

“He lost a few lengths at the third last and second last and he picked up going to the last which left him in front and he was green as grass and lost another few lengths.  Once he was headed he came back onto the bridle and he took off again on the run-in.  He is a machine. Zaffarella is the best broodmare you could breed from.  I told them that I thought he was better than the other two and maybe they will believe me now," reported Ben Crawford, winning rider. 

There was a small but select field in the Houston Coachworks Ltd mares’ open which went the way of Corella Creek for owner/breeder David Kells. Following an unsuccessful campaign on the track, the daughter of King's Theatre made a winning return to the pointing field here.

The race lost some depth early on when joint favourite Longhouse Music departed from the contest at the third. Barry O'Neill rode a patience race and produced his challenge at the last where his mount asserted on the run-in to score by five-lengths to recent Belclare winner Bloodstream. Milan Dancer, recent winner of the Gain mares’ final and joint favourite, recorded a below par effort to finish third.

“I wasn’t sure if she was quite ready but Barry gave her a great ride; he made it look easy and she isn’t an easy mare to ride.  He pulled her right back and give her some space as she launched herself at a few fences.  She will stay pointing and maybe head for a maiden hunter chase later in the season,” commented winning handler Christie.

The crowd at the Co.  Antrim venue were treated to a thrilling finish in the concluding Fleet Financial winners of two which saw the recent Lingstown four-year-old maiden winner Thatsy lose nothing in defeat when going down by a head in the end to the progressive Manetti. Racing in the colours of Ronny Bartlett, the Ian Ferguson-trained Manetti was following up a recent second at Tyrella and jumped soundly throughout where he battled gamely in the hands of Derek O'Connor.

"He stays and jumps well, and Derek (O’Connor) was right to ride him from the front.  He said he would have went a bit quicker if he knew he stayed as well.  He has had a few niggly problems but he is a lovely horse and is very capable," disclosed Ferguson of the six-year-old son of Westerner. "We will have some fun with him and maybe run in a maiden hunter chase towards the end of the season."

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