Successful with Raydiya (also a narrow winner under Niall McCullagh) and Alaivan in the last two years, Oxx was not present to see the daughter of Alhaarth make all, shaking off the attention of Leo Gali before holding the persistent challenge fo Dermot Weld’s Sense Of Purpose (Keagan Latham) by a short-head.
Oxx’s assistant Jim O’Neill commented: “She’s a grand, honest, staying filly. She’s lazy and doesn’t kill herself in her races. She has worn cheekpieces in the past and might again. She was pricking her ears in front and made Niall work hard. “I’m not sure what plan the boss has for her. But the Galtres in York is a race he likes and it could be a suitable race for her.”
Winning rider McCullagh returned to the weighroom with blood pumping from his nose, having been hit by the filly’s head when she stumbled pulling up. He felt unwell and stood himself down from his intended mount in the following race, Belfiore, which was withdrawn, as no suitable rider could be found. McCullagh was also cautioned by the Stewards concerning his whip use.
Stable-jockey Fran Berry, unable to do 8-7 on Karasiyra in the feature event, provided Oxx with a double when Dawn To Dance, an uneasy favourite at 9/10, landed the concluding Tote Jackpot Race 3-6 Maiden.
Dawn To Dance, a half-sister to Namid, got the better of Bold Identity by three lengths and survived a Steward Enquiry, having caused slight interference to the runner-up inside the final furlong. Berry was suspended for one raceday for careless riding.
Jim O’Neill stated: “It’s taken time for the penny to drop with her and we haven’t been sure about her right trip. But it’s great to get a win with her and great for Lady Clague (her owner). I presume she’ll go for a handicap somewhere now.”
Veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast, celebrating his 78th birthday, attended the meeting but, out of luck with his early runners, was on his way home to the Curragh when Humor Me Rene, owned by his wife Lesley, romped to victory in the Supervalu’s Roscommon Handicap.
Humor Me Rene, which was following-up a recent win in Tipperary, was a second winner of the season (and an eighth of his career) for apprentice Sam James, who is based with Perndergast.