Lisselan Eagle off the mark in impressive fashion

THOUGHTS drifted back to the great Imperial Call and his tremendous Cheltenham Gold Cup victory in 1996 after Lisselan Eagle won the Clarina Maiden at Limerick last evening.

Lisselan Eagle, like Imperial Call, is owned by Lisselan Farms and carried the colours made famous by that great warrior.

It was delightful to see Fergie Sutherland, another great warrior and the man who trained Imperial Call of course, on hand to greet the winner and represent the owners.

The Alzao colt was always travelling sweetly for Pat Smullen, quickening to the front over a furlong down to easily beat Miss Mason.

Said trainer, Dermot Weld: “He's a fine big horse and did it well. He stays at it and handles the ground. He knew his job, will now go for a handicap and jump a hurdle later on.”

Lisselan Eagle was taken at 5-1 in the morning and from 3-1 to 7-4 on course.

Andrew Lee enjoyed a turn when Hurricane Alley, the first horse to sport the colours of his wife, Aileen, took the Adare Handicap. Beautifully handled by the talented Chris Hayes, Hurricane Alley made all and had little trouble beating Vintage Port.

“I ride him out every day myself and was very confident he would win”, reported Ms Lee.

“I was under pressure with a very cranky owner”, quipped the trainer. “He (Hayes) is a very clever lad and did everything I told him.”

Wayne Lordan continued his good start to the campaign when partnering his fifth winner aboard Tommy Stack's Stolen Summer in the Greenmount Median Auction Maiden.

He is riding with real confidence, producing the Spectrum gelding with a sweeping run to grab Baynes Cross just inside the furlong pole.

Commented Stack's son, Fozzy: “He wasn't seeing out his races last season, but got stronger over the winter. He will go for a winners' of one or a handicap.”

Tim Doyle's Lucky Lynsey toyed with the opposition on the way to winning the first division of the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.

She arrived absolutely cantering in the straight, with Billy Lee able to sit motionless. Lee allowed her lead at the furlong pole and the final margin, three and a half lengths, was no indication of her superiority.

Commented Doyle: “She goes through that ground and comes from a family that have always done well at the start of the season.”

Lucky Lynsey is in at Cork over the weekend and will turn out again, as long as she is not a balloting victim.

Doyle won the second section as well with Dame Noir and she too will go to Cork, balloting notwithstanding.

Christopher Geoghegan had the ride and he pushed the five-year-old ahead early in the straight. She was always in charge from that point and didn't have a hard race to beat Anotion.

Said Doyle: “She is at her best in the spring and we will try and do our best for her in the next month or so.”

Thomond O'Mara, absent at the Doncaster sales, missed viewing his Master Marvel taking the seven furlongs Crecora Rated Race.

Master Marvel powered through from the furlong pole to beat favourite, Foxy Gwynne, unextended by four and a half lengths, in the hands of Michael Cleere.

The conditions of the Patrickswell Race were stacked in favour of Menwaal, but he proved uneasy in the market, finding evens from early odds-on offers. He did his job nicely, however, easing into the lead at the furlong pole to beat Arafan comfortably by two lengths.

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