Sam Curling is experiencing a good run at present and the Co Tipperary-based handler seems to have another smart prospect on his hands in the form of Longhouse Sale, who made a stylish winning debut to provide Derek O’Connor with the opening leg of a two-timer in the first division of the Goffs UK four-year-old maiden.
The September Storm-sired Longhouse Sale disputed the running until headed by Buck’s Bin’s after four out. The eventual winner however kept Buck’s Bin’s in his sights and he made his way back to the front some 100 yards out to beat Donnchadh Doyle’s representative by a snug two lengths. “He’s a lovely horse and we have been waiting for the good ground with him for a while, “disclosed Curling of the John Duggan-owned Longhouse Sale, a close relation to Grade 1-placed chaser Line Ball that was acquired for €8, 000 at last year’s Goffs Land Rover sale.
John Barry was likewise in double form and he instigated his two-timer by combining with the in-form Pat Doyle to land the second division of the Goffs UK four-year-old maiden with Fury Road, a creditable fourth on his previous start at Stowlin three weeks earlier. The Stowaway-sired Fury Road, sporting the familiar Gigginstown House Stud silks, was always positioned at the head of affairs and he made the best of his way home from three out. Fury Road was already well in command when throwing a fabulous jump at the final fence and he ultimately dismissed favourite El Barra by five lengths.“Things just didn’t pan out right for him at Stowlin the last day. I would say that he’s a very good horse and he will be going home now, “said Doyle of Fury Road, a half-brother to Monbeg Worldwide from the same family as Morley Street and Granville Again that was acquired for €205, 000 at last year’s Derby sale.
John Nallen has experienced a terrific run of success with his small string this season and the Clonmel hotelier saddled his fourth individual winner of the campaign courtesy of his wife Bernardine Rochford’s Notebook, who was completing a quick double for John Barry in the second division of the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Cheltenham Sales five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Absent since finishing fifth at Ballindenisk before Christmas, Notebook disputed the running at a cracking pace with Freezing Oscar until setting sail for home before three out. The result was never in doubt thereafter as the triumphant German-bred stormed clear between the final two fences to outpoint Punchestown runner-up Noflashback by 12 lengths.
“We have been waiting for good ground for him for quite a while now. The form of the Ballindenisk race that he finished fifth before Christmas has worked out very well and he’s the last horse that we have to run this season. Winning today with him has been the icing on the cake as far as our season is concerned, “said Nallen, also paying particular credit to his assistant ‘Corky’ Carroll.
James Hannon, fresh from his two-timer at Downpatrick less than 48 hours earlier, continued his rich vein of form by combining with Harry Kelly to win the first division of the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Cheltenham Sales five-year-old geldings’ maiden with Ificudiwud. The Trans Island-sired Ificudiwud, absent since finishing down the field on his only previous start in a Punchestown festival bumper in April 2017, edged ever closer in third spot from four out. He took over two out and was well in command on the approach to the final fence, three lengths separating him from The Echo Boy. Owner/trainer Kelly reported: “He’s a horse that was weak last year and he’s still somewhat weak. James [Hannon] could have ridden a couple of different horses in the race, but he stuck with this fellow as he knew what he was capable of. “
Derek O’Connor completed his brace by bringing Robert Tyner’s Rare Deal from well off the pace to claim victory in the first division of the Milestone Stables five-year-old-upwards mares’ maiden. Rare Deal, who was brought down when holding every chance at the final fence on her debut here at Dromahane two weeks earlier, stylishly moved into contention from four out. The winning daughter of Beneficial still had three horses in front of her on the run to the final fence, but she stormed past recent Courtown runner-up Crystal Kate 50 yards out to oblige in snug style by a length. “She would nearly have won the last day here but for getting brought down, “reported Tyner’s wife Mary of Rare Deal, representing Emma Walsh from Fethard. “She will now go for a bumper. “
Ex-flat performer Oighear Dubh brought up the opening leg of a two-timer for handler Eugene O’Sullivan, one of the main organisers of this fixture, by recording a clear-cut success under his daughter Maxine in the ITM & Suirview Stables Ladies Open. Oighear Dubh, runner-up behind Sydney Paget on his previous start at Ballysteen last month, disputed the running from after four out. The winning grey then asserted from the third last to dispose of Liz Lalor’s mount After Eight Sivola by three lengths. Owner/trainer O’Sullivan, also on the mark with Drawn N Drank at the day’s other meeting in Oldcastle, reported of Oighear Dubh:”We have been waiting all year for good ground for him. The first day he got it, he finished second to Sydney Paget at Ballysteen last month. He will run in another point now and then go back to the track for the summer. “
Steak And Spuds, one of just two horses that handler/breeder Tom Keogh has in harness at his Belgooly base, recorded her third success of the campaign with regular partner David O’Brien in the Ballyboy Stables Winners. The diminutive Steak And Spuds, also successful at this same venue two weeks earlier despite losing a lot of ground at the start, moved through to challenge after four out. Whilst runner-up Glorious Boru wouldn’t go away, Steak And Spuds powered clear from two out to score by an increasing five lengths.
Keogh, also a member of the winning Tutti Fruitt Syndicate, remarked of Steak And Spuds:“She’s a very tough mare and I thought that the ground here today would be too good for her. Provided that she’s o/k, the plan will be that she will now go to Tralee next Saturday.”
Former champion amateur rider John Queally sent out Isabel’s Gold to make a taking winning debut in the hands of Richie Harding in the second division of the Milestone Stables five-year-old-upwards mares’ maiden. The Gold Well-sired Isabel’s Gold tracked the frontrunning All The Way West from half-way until joining issue with Louis Archdeacon’s charge two out. Isabel’s Gold readily forged clear coming to the final fence to dispose of All The Way West by a widening five lengths. Isabel’s Gold represents Owen Daly, who has worked alongside Queally for the past 20 years. Dungarvan native Daly, who also owns Queally’s recent Liverpool Grade 2 mares’ bumper winner Getaway Katie Mai, said:”She did it the hard way and she’s a sharp mare that I think has the toe to win a bumper. “
Eugene O’Sullivan completed his two-timer courtesy of his daughter Maxine’s Ardrahan, who came fourth on his previous start in the Dawstown adjacent hunts maiden almost a fortnight earlier in the Monbeg Syndicate six-year-old-and-upwards geldings’ maiden for novice riders. Ardrahan made his way into second spot after four out and, with runner-up Oscar Nomination erring at the final fence, he then mastered Eoin Doyle’s charge as the line approached to score by a length to provide 21-year-old Gary Noonan from Newcastlewest with a third success of the campaign. “He’s a nice horse and I still think that he is better than his form, “divulged the elder O’Sullivan of Ardrahan. “The plan now is that he will go for a winners of one followed by a maiden hurdle. “