Bought for just E6,000 at the horses-in-training sale at Goffs, he is proving a real bargain. Declan McDonogh drove the son of King Of Kings into the lead early in the straight and Morning Glow answered the call as Bowerman threatened to swamp him through the final furlong.
“He’s a hardy horse and battled well”, said Gillespie.
“He just does enough and might win again.
“I won’t over-face him and Galway is out, a little handicap after Galway will do. He’s very athletic and would make a nice hurdler. I’d train him for that as well, I’ll train anything with four legs!”
McDonogh guided market-leader Keyhopper to a smooth success in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Median Auction Maiden.
The winner was always travelling sweetly near the front. McDonogh drove him into the lead over a furlong down and Keyhopper soon stretched clear.
The in-form and talented pilot completed a treble, taking his total for the campaign to 27, when partnering Pat Hughes’ heavily-supported Helensburgh to victory in the first division of the Bank Of Ireland Handicap.
Reportedly backed as high as 4-1 in the morning, the top weight was backed from 7-4 to 11-8 on track.
McDonogh had him in front with well over a furlong to run and Helensburgh was always holding Otavi.
“We gave them (bookmakers) a bit before this, so this is called getting your own back”, said Hughes.
“Hopefully, he will go to Galway for a mile and a half half handicap, he won’t run over hurdles again until the ground eases.”
The layers began their evening with a healthy result when Tony Mullins’ Vivace, a 12-1 chance, took the Bourn Vincent Memorial Park Maiden Hurdle.
It was a contest which had its share of incidents, with the challenging Upyaboya running out at the third last.
The riderless Upyaboya then hampered Super Cannes, in front at the time, heading to the next.
In the end it came down to a dog-fight between the winner and Arc Lemanique and it was Vivace who showed the greater resolution on the level to score by half a length.
Edward O’Grady’s Backforemore, 5-2 to 2-1 favourite, was right in contention when falling four out. Unfortunately, he broke a shoulder and had to be put down.
Dow Jones produced a tremendously gutsy performance to win the Killarney Avenue-Munster Joinery Handicap.
This 17 furlongs took plenty of getting and the seven-year-old was the best equipped when the war began to rage.
He attempted to make all, but looked cooked when headed by Rooftop Protest with a furlong and a half to go.
Rory Cleary, however, got a renewed effort from Dow Jones, who hit back to get on top of the staying on Corrib Boy and Rooftop Protest in the end.
“He’s a dour stayer, there aren’t many tougher than him”, remarked trainer, Michael Halford.
“He hops off that ground and will mix it between the flat and hurdles for the summer.”
Pat Martin’s Goose Island was brought with a beautifully timed run from off the pace by Chris Hayes to sweep ahead with less than a furlong to run and easily win the second section of the Bank Of Ireland Handicap.
“She is starting to get her act together”, said Martin. “We have ridden her too near the front in the past, but my heart was in my mouth here leaving the back straight.”
It was a case of last to first for John Kiely’s Boychuk in the Killarney Racegoers’ Club Bumper.
Derek O’Connor got it spot on, bringing the Insan gelding with a powerful late surge to collar the flattering Double Tree well inside the last furlong.
Mutakarrim was an absentee from the Brehon Chase, leaving Theseus with the simple task of beating only rival, Lakeside Lad. Theseus completed a double for Pat Hughes, on the mark earlier with Helensburgh.