Barry O Neill extended his lead in the rider’s title to eight winners ahead of Derek O’Connor when he secured a treble on the day.
Recent Dawstown runner-up Easyrun De Vassy supplied O’Neill with his first winner of the afternoon in the first division of the Goffs maiden race for four-year-olds. The son of Muhtathir made his debut at Oldtown in February before narrowly being beaten on his previous start. Young Lieutenant held a three length advantage on the run to the last where the Milestone Racing owned winner rallied well on the run-in to lead just before the line and seal the victory by a head. “He ran well the last day and built on that today. He showed a good attitude and battled well. He will now go to the Cheltenham sales,” commented winning handler Bowe.
Bowe and O’Neill’s successful partnership was further added to in the second division of the Tattersalls Ireland five-and-six-year-old geldings’ maiden when Pogue returned home the impressive 10 length winner on what was his second start between the flags. Narrowly beaten on his debut at Dawstown, the scopey son of Stowaway who carried the colours of Wicklow vet, Larry Dunne, was ridden in mid-division for much of the race before making steady progress over the final half a mile where he took up the lead before the penultimate fence and quickly asserted clear of his rivals. Bowes charge was another winner from the day to be added to the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Sales at the end of the month.
The Wexford rider steered his second winner of the card aboard the Sean Doyle-trained Asking A Lot in the second division of the Triermore stud maiden race for five-and-six-year-old mares’. Third on two starts this season, with her previous run being at Taylorstown in April, the daughter of Ask posted a pillar to post display to return home the three length winner over the William Ross-trained Eimear. Patrick O’Sullivan commented on behalf of the absent winning handler, Sean Doyle by saying “We decided to change tactics with her today and let her jump out and make it which she enjoyed and suited her. She has been a consistent mare this season and deserved the win.”
The Wexford handlers enjoyed a profitable day at the Co. Meath track as the Michael Goff-trained Cenotice took the second division of the Goffs maiden race for four-year-olds in the hands of Shane Fitzgerald who is currently second in the leading novice rider’s title. Third at Durrow in March, the son of Blackrath stud’s resident sire Phoenix Reach, produced his challenge to lead before the penultimate fence where he soon held a strong advantage over his closest pursuer Keep Wondering and returned home the three-and-a-half length winner in the colours of the winning handlers wife, Caitriona Goff. “Both days he ran we expected him to run well but he loved that better ground today. The lad in the first division ran a good race so we were fairly hopeful with this fella. If he’s not sold he may go for a bumper next,” reported winning handler Goff on his charge who is out of a half-sister to the former Scottish Grand National winner, Young Kenny.
Athenry based handler Kevin Heffernan has enjoyed a successful season with his small string and his six-year-old Piece A Cake provided him with his second win of the season in the REA MCGee Auctioneers mares’ winners of one. A winner at Tralee last May, the daughter of Getaway took up the lead from the penultimate fence where she held a three length advantage over her rivals on the run to the final obstacle before being strongly pressed by the fast finishing Lottolove to hold on by short head to supply Rob James with his only winner of the day following three runner-up efforts. A delighted Heffernan who also owns the winning mare reported “We were looking forward to running her at Tallanstown but when that was called off we decided to come here instead. She loves that ground and if she’s not sold we will run her on the track.”
Jimmy O’Rourke was another rider to follow on Sunday as he secured a double on the card which was initiated by his father’s Illuminated Beauty in the first division of the Triermore stud maiden race for five-and-six-year-old mares’. Another winner to have finished runner-up on her previous start at Dawstown, the Pat O’Rourke-owned and trained winner was left in the lead after the fourth last following Pottlereaghexpress slipping up on the bend, where the daughter of Flemensfirth produced a strong front running display to return home the one length winner over the fast finishing Presenting Leah.
O’Rourke did not have to wait long to complete his double as steered the Shane Donohue-trained Sad Eyed Dylan to victory on what was his fifth start between the flags this season. The son of Multiplex, who carried the colours of The Dylan Partnership, set a strong gallop from the off whereby he had many of his rivals under pressure before the final mile and quickened well on the run to the last fence to go and score by a comfortable eight lengths over Quill Road. “He loved that good ground today. Jimmy gave him a great spin and he is for sale now,” reported winning handler Donohue.
Eugene O’Sullivan was another in form trainer on Sunday as his charge Drawn N Drank took the Oldcastle Co-op & McConnell, Flynn & O’Connell Veterinary Surgeons open in what was one of three winners on the day for him following Oighear Dubh and Ardhrahan’s success at Dromahane. The 12-year-old, who was recording his first win since April 2016, has been a terrific servant for his connections having now won nine point-to-points and been placed a further 19 times. The Irene Walsh-owned gelding was sent to the front under Turlough O’Connor over the final mile where he always appeared to be travelling well and stayed on gamely to secure a two length victory over Sandycove Island.
The well-known colours of William Durkan, who many will remember, being carried to success in the 1980 Arkle at Cheltenham when Anaglogs Daughter won under Tommy Carberry, was in the winners enclosure on Sunday when Tinnehinch took the GFW Sports Horses, McQuaids Pharmacy, F&K Donohue Ltd, College Proteins, Seven Wonders, Burns Bookmakers, The Mountain Dew and Oldcastle House Hotel six-year-old-upwards maiden for novice riders. This race saw the largest field of the day with 18 runners going to post where the Brian Lawless-ridden winner was waited with in rear before making good progress to lead before the final fence and stayed on stoutly to score by one length over Ask Harry. The eight-year-old was returning from a notable 1120 day absence where his previous run saw him finish runner-up at Fairyhouse point-to-point in April 2015. “We bought this lad from John Bleahan but he has had a few little problems so he has been off for a while. I’m delighted for Brian who is a local rider and rides out for us. We have a couple of young horses in at the moment as well as some flat horses and summer jumpers to run over the next few months,” reported winning owner Daniel Durkan of his father’s charge.