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Report | Knockanard 16th February 2020

There were just three races at Knockanard on Sunday as the Avondhu Foxhounds meeting was abandoned in the interests of safety after the winds gave the organising committee valid cause for concern.

On an afternoon that witnessed just 18 runners, the Mattie Collins-trained newcomer Tallow For Coal came home as he pleased in the Coolagown Stud & Shinnicks Spar two-and-a-half mile four-year-old maiden to provide rider James Hannon with the opening leg of a two-timer.

Tallow For Coal disputed the running with Lumpy Luna until edging ahead and gradually increasing the pace from six out.

The whole complexion of the race altered three out as the winner’s closest pursuer Lumpy Luna fell and brought down the pursuing Telhimlisten.

Tallow For Coal was then left with a virtually unassailable advantage and he returned a distance clear of the only other finisher What A Time.

Handler Collins said of his son Pat’s Tallow For Coal, an €11,000 graduate of last year’s Tattersalls May sale that’s already a half-brother to two black-type placed performers in Humbie and Behemoth: “He has always been a simple, straightforward horse and it will be onwards and upwards from here hopefully and he will now head to the sales.”

Hannon will have attained immense satisfaction from his success aboard Tallow For Coal as the gelding was bred by his parents James senior and Marian.

For good measure, the Hannon’s also stand Tallow For Coal’s sire Arctic Cosmos at their The Old Road Stud outside Tallow.

The Harry Kelly-trained Oscar Contender brought up James Hannon’s two-timer by winning a competitive renewal of the Coolmore & Grange Stud & Amber Service Station open.

Oscar Contender stepped up from his two commendable third-placed efforts behind Lite Duties at Aghabullogue and Kilfeacle last month by picking up the running before the last to contain Fenno’s Storm by three lengths.

In the absence of handler Kelly, Jason Walsh, son of Oscar Contender’s owner Mary Walsh and her late husband Noel said: “If the ground comes up soft, he could now go for the Tetretema Cup hunters chase at Gowran Park and Harry and his brother Jimmy have done a terrific job with him.”

The Mick Goff-trained newcomer File Illico annihilated the opposition in the Rathbarry Stud & Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

File Illico stylishly made his way to the front before the third last and he then readily swept clear in the closing stages, showing a blistering turn of foot in the process, to beat Salt Wind by a distance in the hands of Shane Fitzgerald.

“This horse got a cut last season and that’s why he didn’t run then. He worked very well last Tuesday and he’s a horse that should be very nice in time,” said handler Goff of his wife Catriona’s File Illico, a close relation to French black-type placed hurdler Mister Apple’s that was bought for €11,000 at the 2018 Goffs Land Rover sale.

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