The North Kerry Harriers staged their annual Ballybunion point-to-point fixture on Saturday evening and Carrigtwohill owner/trainer Don Browne’s Cloneen Storm (11/10) lit up the seven-race session for many by registering a gallant front-running success under a well-judged ride from James Hannon in the open lightweight.
The confirmed fast-ground specialist Cloneen Storm, who made Bishop’s Lane pull out all the stops on his previous start at Bartlemy on May 13th, gave an exhibition of fencing at the head of affairs, but he seemed to have a battle on his hands when runner-up Giveabobback loomed up with every chance on the outer before the final of the 15 obstacles.
Cloneen Storm however landed much the faster here and he stayed on stoutly on the flat to beat Eugene O’Sullivan’s charge by two lengths with a 12-length break to Renewed Challenge. The likelihood is that Cloneen Storm will now contest one of the open lightweight races at Kinsale next weekend.
Giveabobback’s rider Derek O’Connor didn’t leave empty-handed for he earlier collected the winners of one aboard the Robert Tyner-trained Dushrembrandt (2/1). A half-brother to Robert Alner’s former top chaser Sir Rembrandt, last month’s Dromahane maiden scorer Dushrembrandt came from an unlikely looking position three out to lead shortly after the final fence to account for long-time leader Mistletoe Cottage by a length.
It was a memorable afternoon for handler Neill Hurley, who trains a small string near Cullen outside Mallow, and 22-year-old amateur William O’Hanlon from Bweeng for they both recorded their first success courtesy of the consistent mare Yelruh Lass (10/1) in the second division of the closing seven-year-old and upwards maiden.
Owner/trainer/breeder Karen Hannon from Newmarket-On-Fergus similarly posted her initial career victory thanks to the Paul O’Neill-ridden mare Tisonlyme (4/1) who had little difficulty in dismissing dead-heaters Anshan Prince and Keeptrading in the first part of this event.
The John O’Brien-trained Big Dec (6/1), sporting the colours of US-domiciled Charleville native Colm Dillon, overcame in excess of a three and a half month lay-off by making practically all to beat Woodford County with Ciaran Fennessy in the opening five-year-old geldings’ maiden whilst Co Laois-based handler Mark Quigley’s seasonal debutant Owenbeg Lass (3/1) benefited from a well-judged ride from five lb claimer Willie Thompson to dismiss Forever Eva in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
The locals had plenty of cause for cheer when Listowel-based handler Eoin McCarthy sent out Joe Reed (3/1), ably partnered by his cousin Shane Tierney, to destroy the opposition in the first instalment of the six-year-old geldings’ maiden. Andy Slattery’s Laurencetown runner-up Isaac’s Warrior (9/2) meanwhile came home as he pleased under Roger Quinlan in the second split.
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