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Report | Stradbally 15th Apr 18

"‘She is a hardy little mare. I bought her at the sale for €800 and after we got her, her brother went and won a four-year-old maiden.”"

The Laois Foxhounds, who held their first meeting of the year at Stradbally on Sunday attracted the largest entry so far this season with 157 entered which resulted in two divides to make an eight race-card.
Kildare native John O’Neill who has a great record around Stradbally was in the winner’s enclosure once again when landing the opening division of the Goffs Punchestown Sale five-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard the James Fahey-trained Lord Springfield. The son of Well Chosen took up the running approaching the straight and kept on gamely to score by half-a-length.

A delighted Fahey reported afterwards; ‘He did it well there thank god. I was a little bit worried coming here as I wanted to get a schooling race into him but I couldn’t with the ground. I would have been very confident if I had of, because he goes well at home. We were thinking of running him as a four-year-old but he was too big, he is nearly 17hh. He will go to the sales now.’

Brian Jordan and the Inish Stables Partnership were rewarded for their patience when The Tangler Barry took division two of the Goffs Punchestown Sale five-year-old geldings’ maiden in the hands of Mark Scallan. The son of Ask had shown plenty of promise having been placed on his last two outings and his experience paid off here when scoring by an impressive 10 lengths.

The winning handler stated afterwards; ‘The horses have been sick all year and it is only from Lingstown on that they have turned a corner. I would say he met a decent horse the last day in Inch of John Nallen’s. Hopefully he will go to the sales now, but if we have to we will run him on the track.’

Johnny Hurley and Chris O’Donovan combined to land the Liam Cusack six-year-old geldings’ maiden with newcomer The Cattlejobber. The Arvico gelding made smooth progress in the hands of former novice champion Chris O’Donovan to lead approaching the straight and kept on gamely to see off the challenge of Paschals Dream by two lengths.

The delighted winning owner Johnny Hurley who also trains the gelding said afterwards; ‘I bought him as a three-year-old at the Derby sale and he has just taken time. He was a bit backward so we just left him alone to come to himself. He is a great horse to jump and we will try sell him now.’

Peeping Tom supplied John ‘Shark’ Hanlon with his second winner between the flags this season when taking the Seale Transport adjacent maiden. The five-year-old who had failed to complete on both his last starts, had the caught the eye at Ballyragget before coming to grief two fences from home, but made amends here under Niall Prendergast.

‘He was entitled to that because in Ballyragget he was going to win when he fell at the second-last. We were confident enough coming here, as he had done a couple of bits of work during the week. We came here hoping to get some nice ground and he will be better on nicer ground. He will go to the sales now,’ said a delighted Hanlon.

Mikey O’Connor was seen at his best when guiding the Peter Maher-trained Black Benny to victory in the DJ Dunne and Co Accountants and Eimear Dunne Solicitors open. The 13-year-old, who carried the colours of Caroline Woods, appeared to relish the conditions to run out a six length winner over the favourite Ourmanmassini. The winning Kildare-based trainer reported that his charge would now go for a cross country race at Punchestown.

It was an across the card double for handler Declan Queally as Abbazagga made it a pillar to post victory in the Meadow Meats Ltd winners of three contest.  Declan Queally who trained the 10-year-old was also on board the son of Bach. The Dermot Kiely-owned gelding was Queally’s seventh winner of the season as a handler.

‘He is a brilliant jumper so it means a lot around a quick track like this. We probably shouldn’t have run him in the hunter chase at Cork, the ground was too deep to be fair. He could turn out quickly and go for a winners of three in Dromahane – he will definitely get an entry for it anyway,’ said Queally afterwards.

Stacey Sue landed the opening division of the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel mares’ maiden for handler Tim Hyde. Stephen Connor, who partnered the Robin Des Champs mare, took-up the running two fences from home and kept on gamely for a six-length victory over the John Halley-trained Alloverafiver.

Connor had earlier been in action at Rathcannon, making the journey to Laois worthwhile and connections indicated that the winner may now be aimed at the p2p.ie mares’ bumper at Tipperary next month.

Benny Walsh registered his fourth winner as a handler when We’llcwhathappens took the concluding division of the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel mares’ race. The daughter of Court Cave, who was making her debut was sporting the purple and yellow colours of the Wexford owner Rachel Rath, and her success sees winning jockey Sean O’Keeffe extend his advantage at the top of the novice rider’s title.

‘She is a hardy little mare. I bought her at the sale for €800 and after we got her, her brother went and won a four-year-old maiden. She always worked well, she just needed a bit of time so we were patient with her and it has worked today,’ stated James Rath, husband of winning owner Rachel.

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