It was actually Joe Hennessy that supplied the 23-year-old with his second success of the afternoon courtesy of Annie Aces (10/1) in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden. Annie Aces, a creditable fourth on her penultimate start behind Fromthecloudsabove at Milltown in November, arrived to challenge the frorntrunning Uimhir A Seacht at the final fence.
Whilst not overly fluent here, Annie Aces still led inside the final 100 yards to thwart the gallant Uimhir A Seacht by a length with a three-length break to the third-placed Carrig Rua Lady.
“It’s great to win at home and this mare is actually owned by [my son] Richard in partnership with his brother Stephen, a chemical engineer in Liverpool,” said the elder Hennessy of Annie Aces, whom he also bred. “We will probably go for a mares’ winners race with her now.”
Hennessy junior got off the mark aboard his uncle John Flavin’s Easy Trigger (7/4) in the opening confined hunt maiden.
The ultra-consistent Easy Trigger led or disputed the running and the victorious six-year-old had his biggest danger removed when the challenging Tistrueforme, a five-year-old newcomer mare that’s trained by Brendan O’sullivan, fell at the final fence. Youghal-based Flavin actually won this same race with the mare Eochaill in 2005.
It was an afternoon for the younger riders as 18-year-old Brendan Crowley, a Sixth Year student in Blarney Comprehensive, partnered his second career winner aboard his father Stuart’s The Blarney Rose in the fiercely-competitive mares’ winners of two.
The Blarney Rose, trained by Eugene O’Sullivan, arrived from well off the pace to overtake long-time leader Cnoc Seoda before the second last en-route to beating last month’s Lisronagh maiden victress Carrigeen Kariega by 12 lengths. The Blarney Rose, a former hurdler, is now likely to contest the mares’ winners of two at Knockanard next month.
The Louis Archdeacon-trained Mountain Lough brought off a monster plunge when supported from 4/1 into 6/4 favourite in the geldings’ winners of one, much to the consternation of the 17 bookmakers present.
Mountain Lough, yet another to benefit from waiting tactics, took up the running before the second last with Barry John Foley and it was all plain sailing from there with the ex-track performer duly beating Cork Twenty Ten by three lengths. Mountain Lough, a former 98-rated chaser, is likely to continue pointing for the immediate future.
Terence O’Brien’s Captain Canada (7/1) put his experience to good use by capturing the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, a truly-run contest that attracted 17 runners.
Captain Canada, who was still leading when falling three out in Leadington two weeks earlier, was clearly travelling best for Pat Collins before two out with the winning son of Tamayaz staying on to account for the eyecatching newcomer What A Bluff by two lengths with a three-length break to Next Sensation back in third. A bumper is next on the agenda for Captain Canada, owned by the six-member Pelham Syndicate.
The Mary Twohig-trained newcomer Railway Storm (4/1) impressed when triumphing with the capable Con McSweeney in the first division of the six and seven-year-old geldings’ maiden. Always prominent, the well-touted Railway Storm went for home with five fences remaining and he was clearly possessing all the aces when Active Warrior, some one and a half lengths adrift at the time, capsized at the final fence.
A Drop Of Bubbly, who showed a degree of ability last season, made his initial start for Ardmore-based handler Garry Ducey a victorious one by justifying 7/4 favouritism in the second split of this same contest. A Drop Of Bubbly mastered Royal Knight from before the final fence to oblige three lengths in the hands of Ciaran Fennessy. 29-year-old Ducey, who saddled Aughnacurraveel to win twice over hurdles, was incidentally attaining his initial points success ‘between the flags’.