The 19-year-old partnered Teo Perugo to a length success over Waltons Mountain in the featured Gleneagle Summer Cabaret Chase at the opening stage of the Killarney Festival last night.
It was his second win on the track, the first coming aboard the same horse at Tralee.
Waltons Mountain winged his fences from the front and had most of his rivals in trouble a fair way from home. The exception was the eventual winner, who kept in touch throughout for his capable pilot, who comes from Churchtown near Mallow.
Teo Perugo threw down a determined challenge at the last and was too strong for Waltons Mountain on the flat to score by a length.
“I had to run him to see if he was good enough for the Galway Plate”, reported trainer, Eugene O'Sullivan. “He's a fair horse and two miles and six at Galway won't be a problem.”
John Kiely's King Rama left a below-par effort previously behind when taking the Bank Of Ireland Handicap under an excellent Fran Berry drive. Berry, enjoying the 29th victory of the season, produced the four-year-old with impeccable timing to cut down Chuinn Mhuire close home.
Commented Kiely: “I was disappointed he didn't run better at the Curragh last time, but he never travelled. A mile and a half handicap at Galway is likely to be next.”
Tusa An Fear, who performed moderately on his debut over flights at Roscommon, redressed the balance with a much better effort in the Bourn Vincent Memorial Park Maiden Hurdle.
Ridden on the pace by Barry Geraghty, the dual bumper winner was driven into the lead approaching the home turn and made the rest. He is owned by the eight-member Bodhran Makers Syndicate, seven from Kerry and one Dub.
Trainer, Joe Crowley, indicated the five-year-old will be suited to stepping up to three miles. Gamble of the contest was the John Kiely trained Visit Wexford, 4-1 to 5-2. But, not for the first time over jumps, he disappointed and was way out of contention when pulled up after the second last.
The Bumper saw the Pat Doyle trained newcomer Brize Norton outbattle Aldaher Beebers to the tune of three parts of a length.
“He's very genuine, but nervous, and that's why I put the blinkers on”, said Doyle. Brize Norton was ridden by the trainer's 17-year-old son, Jack, and this was his 11th success.
Porto Calero, who performed solidly at Listowel previously, made no mistake in the Irish Stallion Farms' EBF Median Auction Maiden. Declan McDonogh soon had her in front and Porto Calero galloped all the way up the straight to score by four and a half lengths. She is trained on the Curragh by Ken Condon.
Magic Princess was driven through late by Tadhg O'Shea to beat Piltown in the O'Keeffe Marquees Rathmore Handicap. When mounting her effort, the winner appeared to edge left, hampering eventual fourth, Lady Sharp. A stewards' inqury was inevitable and equally inevitable was the decision not to tamper with the placings.
The layers got a decent result when Great Quest landed the Killarney Avenue-Munster Joinery Handicap. She had, essentially, hitherto failed to live up to expectation, but the daughter of Montjeu made all to beat Thunder Road, who ran in snatches.