Nightime a 1,000 Guineas possibility after easy maiden success

DERMOT WELD has high hopes for Nightime, a daughter of Galileo and owned by his mother, Gita, which won the Coolmore Spartacus Maiden before a huge crowd at Cork yesterday.

Nightime made a lot of the running and lengthened in fine style from the furlong pole to beat the flattering David Wachman trained newcomer, Miss Dela, unextended by two lengths.

“I trained the dam, Caumshinaun, which won the Platinum Stakes here”, said Weld. “I hope she will make into an Irish 1000 Guineas filly. She may head next for a 1000 Guineas trial at Leopardstown and I see her getting ten furlongs as the season goes on.”

Timmy Murphy's decision to make a flying visit to Cork paid rich dividends when he partnered Kilbeggan Lad to take the valuable Murphys' Handicap Hurdle.

It was vintage Murphy, producing Michael Hourigan's charge with impeccable timing from off the pace.

Finger Onthe Pulse looked the likely winner for most of the straight, but Kilbeggan Lad was brought with a sweeping challenge to jump to the front at the final flight.

Plans for the winner, who has been an excellent money-spinner, are on hold with Hourigan opting to go to Fairyhouse.

Tom Taaffe's previously once-raced Good Thing gave 17-year-old Pat Collins from Castlemartyr, Co Cork, his first winner on the track (he has two in points) when landing the Hickey Communications Bumper.

Good Thing was in front over three furlongs out and the youngster kept him going to hold the late rush of Conor's Secret.

“This is a staying horse, who is off on his holidays now and will come back next season over hurdles”, reported Taaffe. “Pat gave him a great ride, he did exactly what I told him to do.”

Master Marvel followed his easy success at Limerick three days earlier by defying top weight in the Blarney Handicap.

Given a splendid drive by Michael Cleere, Master Marvel quickened nicely inside the furlong pole to beat Eagle Thyme a neck.

Commented trainer, Thomond O'Mara: “He went up 9lbs for winning at Limerick, so we had no choice but to run him again quickly. He will probably go to Naas next.”

Another on the mark at Limerick, Tim Doyle's Dame Noir, followed up as well in the Fermoy Handicap.

Christy Geoghegan asked her to go on over two furlongs down and the tactics proved spot on, with the winner grabbing an advantage that was never going to be relinquished.

“She quickened and travelled well”, said a delighted Doyle. “She's in again at Tipperary on Thursday, so we will see how she is.”

The Slattery brothers, Willie and Andy, combined to win the Irish Stallion Farms' EBF Beginners Chase with Kefaaf.

The Lion Cavern gelding had a bit of luck on his side, after Emeranna, in front seven from home, fell at the third last. Indeed, Kefaaf did well to swerve his prostrate rival.

Said Andy Slattery: “He seems to love jumping fences and, if we have a soft summer, will keep going with him.”

Andrew Leigh (21) enjoyed his 13th success when Youghal ran his rivals ragged in the Munster Waste Management Maiden Hurdle.

Fresh from a close third to Amber Point at Gowran Park, Jessica Harrington's charge redeemed the promise of that effort with an emphatic display.

Leigh rode him with real confidence, easing ahead going to the second last to score by eight lengths.

Charles Byrnes may have had mixed fortunes at Fairyhouse yesterday but one doubts bookmakers thought it was a particularly happy Easter after his Carthalawn landed some decent wagers in the Buttevant Maiden Hurdle at Cork on Saturday.

He was backed from 11-10 to 4-6 and never gave those who waded in the slightest cause for concern.

Carthalawn travelled sweetly for Davy Russell, cruising ahead before the second last to beat Strike The Anvil by three lengths. Strike The Anvil was subsequently disqualified, having weighed in 10lbs light, after the lead cloth was lost during the race.

Commented Byrnes: “He was absent since Christmas with a very slight pulled muscle. He will now go to Punchestown for either a handicap or a conditions hurdle. He won't run through the summer and will come back next season over fences.”

The Robert Tyner trained Slim Pickings put up a decent display to easily beat heavily-backed favourite Sher Beau in the Imperial Call Chase.

Barry Geraghty asked the winner to go about his business early in the straight and Slim Pickings picked up nicely to power away from the market leader.

Tyner was represented by his wife, Mary, who said: “He will probably go to Punchestown now. He jumped well and the ground seemed to suit him.”

Ransboro has been creeping up the weights, but was still good enough to defy 11-11 in the Property Partners Dick Barry and Son Handicap Chase.

Given a strong drive by David Casey, he was too good for Murrayfield over the final two fences.

Said Swan: “This was supposed to be his last hurrah for the season, but we will have to see now.”

Jane Thomas, who has held a licence for some two years, saddled her second winner when Knockersally Flyer got the best of a tight battle with Axinit in the Charleville Handicap Hurdle.

She has 20 horses in her care at Athboy, Co Meath and this Arctic Lord seven-year-old is now set to head to Punchestown.

Killeagh, Co Cork amateur Donal McAuley rode his first winner over flights on Tippeenan Lass in the Killetra Mares Maiden Hurdle. McCauley eased ahead going to the second last and was never troubled by the effort of market leader Talktothetail, who failed to quicken in the closing stages.

The capable Eddie Power gave the Tony Seymour trained Threequarter Moon a good ride to take the Dermot Casey Plant Hire Handicap Hurdle.

Rights Of Man made a brave attempt from the front, but Threequarter Moon joined issue at the last and was always getting the best of it on the level.

Joe Burns (21) from Butlerstown, Co Waterford rode his second winner when Gabrona led under two furlongs down to beat favourite, Well Run, in the Bumper.

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