A 39th winner of the season for champion amateur elect Patrick Mullins, the Luso mare emerged with a neck advantage after a protracted battle with Top Madam, prompting her trainer to declare: “That was a very brave performance from a mare with a nice pedigree. She’s a half-sister to Muirhead and will be a nice mare for the paddocks when her racing days are over”
Mullins added: “She’s my fourth runner for this syndicate and they have all won. This mare likes good ground and we’ll keep her going for the summer. She’ll go hurdling soon.”
Champion-elect Davy Russell brought his seasonal tally to 101 when guiding Big Generator to a popular local win in the opening Ingard Point Maiden Hurdle.
Representing the local owner/trainer combination of Jim Mernagh and Paul Nolan, the Generous gelding made all, jumping fluently - if a little to the left - and stayed on stoutly when challenged by Ontheground to score by a length and a half.
“He jumps so well that he’ll probably go straight for a beginners chase,” explained James Nolan, the winning trainer’s brother and assistant, “He was unlucky not to win his point-to-point and had solid bumper form, running against the likes of Monksland in the north. He was too keen and didn’t jump well the last day in Naas - but that was my fault for running him over three miles. Being by Generous, he’s a better horse on this better ground.”
Front-running tactics also paid off for in-form Andrew McNamara on the Tom Foley-trained Golanbrook in the Black Point Handicap Hurdle, the blinkered six-year-old making all to beat Benefit Of Porter and favourite Galianna. Foley commented: “I thought he’d run well in Cork the last day and left there sick after a disappointing run. This fellow has plenty of ability, when he wants to do it and, although Andrew told me to try him over fences, I’m not so sure - if things went wrong, he mightn’t keep at it.”
McNamara went on to complete a double when Headford Flyer, trained by Eoghan O’Grady, collared the flattering Mayo Mystique on the run-in to land the Black Point Beginners Chase, a race in which gambled-on Better Times (6/1-7/2) broke a leg between the last two fences and had to be put down.
Headford Flyer will now go for a two-mile flat handicap at Clonmel and will be kept on the go over the summer months.
Declan Bates, out of luck on Mayo Mystique, enjoyed compensation later when Good Luck Chuck, trained in County Galway by David Kelly, proved too strong for Close Review in the Broomhill Point Handicap Chase.
Another successful front-runner was the Oliver McKiernan-trained Whatever Jacksays which, ridden by Robbie Colgan, dictated the pace and jumped fluently before shaking off the attentions of Articular at the second last and staying on strongly to slam Dizzy Rascal by fourteen lengths in the three-mile Oysters Point Handicap Hurdle.
Paul Carberry adopted different tactics on 6/4 favourite Fairymount Lord in the Cahore Point Handicap Hurdle, giving the nine-year-old a patient ride to beat Vicalus by a length and a half.