This mare has long been the apple of trainer Stephen Ryan’s eye and she again delivered in tremendous style.
“I thought the trip was a bit short, but I wanted her to get black type and now she’s got it”, reported Ryan.
Former Champion two miler, Newmill, ran a smashing race on his seasonal debut and, jumping superbly, made a brave attempt from the front.
When Keys Pride guessed two out the tactics looked as if they might succeed, but Townend wasn’t to be denied and Keys Pride wore down the top weight on the flat to score by three parts of a length.
“There’s a mares chase at Clonmel in November and, if she stays in form, will probably go for that”, said Ryan.
Tom Taaffe’s Soverign, successful in a point-to-point at Templemore, made a fine start on the racecourse when taking the Mallow Maiden Hurdle.
A week earlier Taaffe landed the Munster National at Limerick with Treacle and the pilot then, Townend, was again entrusted with the ride here.
He eased the winner to the front going to the last and he battled on well to beat Brodies Dubrovnik by two and a half lengths.
Said Taaffe: “He’s a big, strong, raw horse, who has a bit of a future. I didn’t think he’d win over two miles and I’ll step him up to two and a half now, in a winners of one.”
The high-class Catch Me made a satisfactory start over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Novice Chase.
He did hit the fence in front of the stands quite hard with a circuit to go, but otherwise there was no real cause for alarm.
Always tracking the leaders, Catch Me improved nicely in the straight for Andrew McNamara, taking the measure of Fisher Bridge from the final fence.
Said trainer Edward O’Grady: “I’m very relieved. He will come back here in two weeks and, hopefully, then it will be the Drimore (Fairyhouse). He wasn’t foot-perfect, but was good.”
Noel Meade’s much improved Darceys Dancer completed a hat-trick with a game display, under Barry Geraghty, in the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Novice Hurdle.
Tracking the front-running Angelas Lashes throughout, Darceys Dancer landed in front over the second last.
Teach Nua was in his slipstream all the way up the straight, but didn’t find as much as he threatened to do and Darceys Dancer was comfortably ahead at the line.
Orange Touch gave Ballingarry, Co Limerick trainer, William O’Doherty, his first winner when landing the Newmarket Handicap Hurdle.
O’Doherty, who has six horses in his care, took out a restricted licence in June and Orange Touch gave rider, Robert Jones (19), his first winner as well.
“He likes nice ground and will go for another handicap”, reported O’Doherty, after his charge had powered to the front two out.
Local trainer, Tom Nagle, was on the mark when Alickadoo took the Cork Handicap Hurdle, in the capable hands of Stephen Gray.
The ten-year-old forged ahead over the third last and never flinched as Happy Reunion attempted to close. The 16-1 shot paid almost 21-1 on the Tote.
Alicakdoo now heads for the Cork National, a contest in which he finished second a year ago, but was subsequently awarded in the stewards’ room.
Tom Mullins introduced another promising newcomer in Dr Whizz, owned by J P McManus, to run away with the Bumper.
He was a talking horse all day and certainly lived up to his lofty reputation, shooting clear for Patrick Mullins over furlong down.
Commented Tom Mullins: “He jumps well, but it is up to J P as to where he will go next.”
Mark Fahey, who partnered runner-up, Kingsdale Prinxess, was found guilty of careless riding and suspended for two days.