On an afternoon that saw the committee doing extremely well to run off their nine-race card with ground conditions worsening as the programme neared a conclusion, last season’s champion mare The Blarney Rose (3/1) moved through to pick up the running on the approach to the third last of the 14 obstacles.
There was only going to be one outcome from two out as The Blarney Rose effortlessly maintained the tempo with regular partner Brendan Crowley, a First Year Economics student at UCC, to defeat Sinead O’Sullivan’s Castleview Mills by an unchallenged nine lengths in the colours of her rider’s father Stuart Crowley.
O’Sullivan said: “This mare has strengthened up since last season and we will probably pick a race inside the rails for her, maybe a hurdle race at Limerick over Christmas. The plan long-term would be to attain some black-type.”
Quarryking (9/2), trained by 2010 All-Ireland Cork winning footballer Paul O’Flynn from Ballyclough, posted a scintillating debut success in the fiercely-competitive second division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Well-touted beforehand, the giant-sized Quarryking made all the running in the silks of his handler’s mother Lily to defeat the more-experienced Knockanaffrin by a comprehensive four lengths. Quarryking, a graduate of the 2010 August sale at Fairyhouse, fits the profile of a horse that should go on to attain high-profile track success.
O’Flynn and Quarryking’s rider Ciaran Fennessy went on to complete a double when recent Glenbane scorer Nevskij (5/2) collected the geldings’ winners of one in almost identical circumstances.
Nevskij also recorded a virtual pillar-to-post success and the former track performer wasn’t found wanting in the closing stages as the unexposed five-year-old Davy to Milan closed to within a neck at the line in what was the closest finish of the afternoon. A hunters chase at Limerick over the festive period could now feature for Quarryking, representing O’Flynn’s father Tom.
JT McNamara was also in double form, the Shannonsider initiating his brace aboard ‘Shark’ Hanlon’s Rare Legend (6/4) in the first instalment of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
In a race that saw four horses holding a chance of sorts on the run to two out, the previously-twice placed Rare Legend gamely asserted on the run to the final fence to dismiss Aidan Kennedy’s Moonlight Boy by one and a half lengths. Rare Legend, a three parts brother to Rory O’Moore who finished second to subsequent Brightwells sales-topper Just A Par on his debut at Loughrea last month, will now be offered at the Doncaster sale after racing at Newbury this coming Saturday – December 1st.
McNamara brought up his two-timer aboard Sophies Shadow (6/1), a first winner for Dundrum, Co Tipperary-based owner/trainer John Dwyer, in the closing five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
The Brian Boru-sired Sophies Shadow, acquired at Goffs as a foal, gamely made her way to the front before two out to contain favourite Charming Ways by four lengths.
Martin Molloy (20) from Carnew will similarly treasure fond memories of this fixture as he was credited with his initial career victory aboard the Pat Fahy-trained Treacy’s Star (5/1) in an eventful first division of the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
Treacy’s Star, a creditable third against the geldings’ on her points debut in The skyfarmer’s Rathcannon maiden in late-September, certainly had luck on her side for Donnchadh Doyle’s newcomer Dashing Lady held a two-length advantage and was clearly travelling best when crashing out at the final fence.
Mikey O’Connor is a master at employing waiting tactics at this left-handed circuit and the Liscarroll amateur excelled when bringing Oscar Fortune (4/1), trained by the in-form Louis Archdeacon for Joe and Kathleen O’Callaghan from Banteer, from off the pace to oblige in the first division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Oscar Fortune, an excellent third on his only previous start at Dawstown last season, made excellent progress from mid-division to lead at the second last en-route to accounting for the promising Mortlestown by five lengths.
Henry de Bromhead’s newcomer Never Complain came to the rescue of punters by gamely justifying 5/4 favouritism under Paul Power in the second part of this same contest.
The Beneficial-sired Never Complain, sporting the silks of the absent de Bromhead’s wife Heather, struck the front at the third last and he valiantly kept responding in the closing stages for Paul Power to thwart Knockraheen by one and a half lengths.
Derek O’Connor kept his supporters happy by returning to the coveted number one spot aboard Co Wexford handler Sean Finn’s Vinnieslittle Lamb (9/2) in a vintage second division of the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
The towering Vinnieslittle Lamb, a fine fifth on her only start last term behind Ittimetogo at Ballingarry in June, eased her way into pole position after two out and this clearly-useful daughter of Vinnie Roe duly returned with two and a half lengths to spare over Three Oscars.