Sales-bound Knight impressesin maiden

The annual Inch point-to-point took place at its traditional Ballyanthony venue yesterday and, on a wind-swept afternoon that witnessed nine races, the Colin Bowe-trained Clondaw Knight (4/6) impressed by winning the first division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Clondaw Knight, who still led when falling two out in Talbot Road’s Monksgrange maiden just ten days earlier, made his move from the rear of the nine-runner field to take up the running at the penultimate of the 15 obstacles. It was all plain sailing from here with the winning son of Heron Island duly defeating the promising newcomer Chosen Dream by eight lengths.

“This fellow seems to go on any ground and we think that he’s good enough for a bumper. He will probably now go to some of the sales next month,” reported Bowe of his wife Fiona’s Clondaw Knight, a graduate of last year’s Goffs Land Rover sale that traces back to former Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup winner Galway Blaze.

Clondaw Knight’s rider Barry O’Neill also collected the second split of this same contest aboard Donnchadh Doyle’s newcomer Artriptomilan (6/1). Always prominent, Artriptomilan was one of four horses that jumped the last in unison and he asserted inside the final 100 yards to deny recent Lismore third The Job Is Right by a length. Atriptomilan, sourced at last year’s Doncaster spring sale, will now be offered at Brightwells’ Cheltenham sale on April 18th.

The Trevor Horgan-trained O’Faolains Boy (3/1 – 9/4) created a hugely-favourable impression by coming home as he pleased with Jamie Codd in the first division of the five-year-old geldings; maiden. O’Faolains Boy, runner-up on his initial outing behind Kellys Brow at Bennettsbridge in late-February, went to the front at the second last with the well-supported son of Oscar then storming clear to dismiss Harbour Pirate by four lengths. It’s safe to say that a bright track career lies in wait for O’Faolains Boy, a half-brother to Saddlers Storm.

The stewards were busy following the second part of this same contest in which the Terence O’Brien-trained Overbury Prince beat John Nallen’s Minella Definitely by a head. They found that interference had occurred between the final fence and the line and deemed it sufficient to reverse the placings. They duly promoted last month’s Horse And Jockey fourth Minella Definitely (9/4), the mount of ‘Corky’ Carroll, to first place.

The old firm of Michael Hourigan and former pointing champion JT McNamara combined to collect the opening four-year-old mares’ maiden with the well-supported newcomer Tropical Three (3/1 – 5/2), a daughter of Portrait Gallery that’s out of a half-sister to her handler’s former top racemare Tropical Lake. Tropical Three, a graduate of last year’s August sale in Fairyhouse, made smooth progress to hit the front before the last en-route to accounting for Dante’s Queen by one and a half lengths.

Code Dancer (9/4), owned and trained by Liam Phelan from outside Thurles, atoned for her second-placed effort behind the progressive Sligo Publican at this same meeting 12 months ago by destroying the opposition with the capable Damien Skehan in the first instalment of the six-year-old and upward mares’ maiden. Phelan later paid tribute to the help that he has received from his near-neighbour Pat Carey.

Maxine O’Sullivan made her first mount back from the fractured leg that she received at home in Lombardstown in November a winning one by landing the second part of this same contest aboard Susan Finn’s Effortless (2/1). Absent since finishing second at Dromahane in mid-November, ex-track performer Effortless led from after the second last and, whilst prematurely eased in the closing stages, she still beat Nimble Nell by a head.

James Dullea’s King Massini (5/1), a close relation to Big Zeb, continued rider Declan Queally’s present purple patch by carrying the Garryhankard Stud colours to a convincing success in the closing winners of one. King Massini, who impressed by winning on his previous start at Leadington on New Year’s Day, readily asserted on the flat to contain the mare Takemetotheisland by two lengths.

The Aidan Kennedy-trained Next Oasis (7/2), owned and bred by Barry O’Connor from Killeagh, vindicated the promise of his second-placed effort at Kilworth last month by landing the confined hunts maiden. Next Oasis, a half-brother to Al O’Connell’s former smart chaser Montana Glen, took up the running after the second last with the six-year-old duly defeating Real Appeal by three lengths in the hands of Johnny Ryan. Pat Collins sustained a suspected collar-bone injury in a final fence fall in this race from He Who Thunders, who appeared beaten in third spot at the time.

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