Aintree in Carthalawn’s sights

The Harry Kelly-trained Carthalawn lit up yesterday’s well-attended Tallow point-to-point meeting, staged on Jimmy Mangan’s lands at Shanakill Cross, by winning a vintage renewal of the open lightweight.

Carthalawn (7/4), a former six-time track winner that was rated 150 over fences when concluding his racecourse career in January of last year, was well off the pace in eighth as Kilty Storm took the 13 runners along at a ferocious gallop out on the final circuit.

Pa King however refused to panic on Carthlawn and he produced his mount with precision timing to go second on the approach to two out. The victorious 11-year-old took up the running before the last to come home by three lengths from John Halley’s Outlaw Pete with a one-length gap back to the gallant veteran Kilty Storm in third.

“This is a grand fun horse that I have since late summer. We will pick and choose our races and if everything keeps going according to plan, then we could maybe think about the Aintree Foxhunters in April,” said handler Kelly of Carthalawn, owned by his partner Gemma O’Mahoney.

Kilty Storm’s handler RJ McGrath seems to have a hugely-exciting prospect on his hands in The Friary (8/1) who made a stylish winning debut for the in-form Declan Queally in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The Friary, a son of former Epsom Derby winner Kris Kin that’s closely related to Gaye Chance and Gaye Brief, was lying a close second and travelling well when left in front by the penultimate fence departure of Castlelawn. The Friary duly coasted home by 15 lengths from Ballinahow Oscar to provide Aglish-based owner Liam Fenton with an initial success.

The aforementioned McGrath’s first-cousin Roger McGrath sent out Helloutofdodge (2/1) to oblige in the confined hunt maiden. A first winner of the season for Tallow amateur Richie Rohan, Helloutofdodge made most of the running to contain Cottage Witness by one and a half lengths and by doing so, the son of Ashkalani was vindicating the promise of his most fifth-placed effort behind Itsy Bitsy Spider at Milltown in early-November.

Last season’s champion handler Colin Bowe combined with Barry O’Neill for a hat-trick, the highlight of which was Dotties Dilema in the opening four-year-old maiden. The physically-imposing Dotties Dilema (5/1) led from the seventh fence with the winning son of Pierre quickening clear from two out to dismiss Deise Dynamo in the style of a considerably above-average sort.

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