Ground the key as King’s Vintage comes good in style

THE Tom Mullins trained King’s Vintage ran away with the Corcorans’ Furniture and Carpets Handicap at Killarney last night.

The middle leg of a treble for Fran Berry, she is a daughter of 2003 Irish Oaks heroine, Vintage Tipple.

Berry asked the winner to lead over two furlongs down and, despite weaving about a bit, she soon scampered clear to beat Top Spin.

Said Mullins: “She was baffling us this year and wasn’t producing on the track what she was doing at home.

“Declan McDonogh rode her a a few times and said it was the ground, so we came here for the ease.

“If the ground is soft on Sunday at the Curragh, she may take her chance in the Oaks and try and get eighth place!”

The Michael Halford trained If Per Chance landed a real old-fashioned touch in the Robin Parke Memorial Handicap.

Carrying top weight of 10-0, the Berry partnered five-year-old was backed as high as 12-1 in the morning and was strong on track as well, ending the 11-4 favourite.

He justified the confidence with a real swagger, streaking on from the furlong pole to score by seven lengths.

Commented Halford: “He handles those conditions, maybe better than some of the others. He will have to go to Ballybrit, probably for the Topaz Handicap (formerly the McDonogh).”

Berry gave the well-backed Alpine Eagle a powerful drive to beat Pat Smullen and Mount Helicon in the Killarney Veterinary Clinic Race.

Magen’s Star held a long lead for much of the journey, but went too hard for her own good and had nothing left when the principals surged past.

They had a real battle through the last furlong, with Alpine Eagle, taken from 4-1 to 9-4, getting there by a head.

John Kiely, successful with Crowning Moment here on Monday, added to that when Glantara took the Winner’s Enclosure At The Malton Novice Chase.

Mistakes four out and again at the third last were no help to the front-running Next Week and he could not match Glantara from the penultimate obstacle.

Said Kiely: “He deserved that, having run well at Tramore. He’s a great jumper and liked the ground. Maybe, we will find a bad race at Galway for him.”

Market-leader, Penny’s Bill, never went a yard and was pulled up with a circuit to go. He burst a blood vessel.

Ice Empress, one of six horses Aidan O’Brien has left in Sunday’s Irish Oaks, got off the mark at the tenth attempt when landing the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden.

Sean Levey bounced her out in front and Ice Empress had little difficulty holding the token challenge of uneasy favourite, Treasure The Cross, through the last two furlongs.

At Downpatrick in the afternoon, Barry Geraghty won on Golden Grimshaw and then later in the day made the helicopter trip to Killarney.

It certainly paide dividends, as he guided Thomond O’Mara’s Banna Man to victory in the McSweeney Arms Hotel Handicap Chase.

It was vintage Geraghty as well, as he drove Banna Man to the front going to the final fence to beat always prominent Rhinestorius.

In the Paul Fitzgerald And Son Builders Suppliers Handicap Hurdle John Cullen, another who made the journey by helicopter from Downpatrick, powered the Pat O’Donnell-trained Keep It Cool ahead over two out to beat Queen Of Cool.

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