Most Chaste delivers in style

Just one of three planned point-to-point fixtures survived the elements yesterday and that was the Island Foxhounds meeting that took place at Ballydarragh in north Co Wexford.

On an afternoon that witnessed seven races with all of the favourites getting beaten, the Andrew Latta-trained mare Most Chaste lit up the session for most by destroying the opposition in the open lightweight.

Most Chaste (6/1), the only mare amongst the nine runners, always travelled with purpose for first-time partner Derek O’Connor as Nedzer’s Return gave an exhibition of fencing in front for regular partner Annie Bowles.

The winning eight-year-old eased to the front on the inner before two out and she stormed clear after this penultimate of the 14 obstacles to beat dead-heaters Nedzer’s Return and the never-dangerous Twin Joy by seven lengths.

“This mare likes the goodish ground that she got here today and she will have a break now before going for the mares’ hunters chase at Cork on Easter Monday,” reported trainer Latta, currently recuperating from a back injury that he sustained in a fall at the Punchestown point-to-point on February 2nd.

Former professional jockey Harley Dunne indicated that he should be a major force in this year’s novice riders’ championship by recording a two-timer. The 19-year-old, who has partnered 11 winners on the track, made his first mount as an amateur a winning one by landing the five-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard Sean Thomas Doyle’s Mr Satco (10/1).

A creditable fifth on his debut at Dawstown last season, Mr Satco, who was equipped with cheekpieces, made all the running and he bravely maintained the momentum in the closing stages to thwart recent Nenagh fourth Gold Patrol by six lengths with a two-length break back to the favourite Tumbledown Shack in third spot.

It was Gold Patrol’s handler Colin Bowe that provided the talented Dunne with his remaining success aboard Clondaw Hero (8/1) in the confined hunts maiden. The five-year-old Clondaw Hero, who pulled up on his previous outing behind Azorian at Kilfeacle last month, stormed into the lead on the run to the final fence to put eight lengths between himself and the favourite Monbeg.

Owner/trainer Paul Scallan, who partnered Sholokhov into second spot for his former boss Aidan O’Brien in the Irish Derby, struck with Lookslikerainted in the six-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Lookslikerainted (6/1), a creditable sixth on his debut at Ballinaboola last month, made smooth progress under Killeagh native Colin Motherway from three out to pick up the running at the final fence en-route to beating the consistent Waddington Hero by one and a half lengths. Lookslikerainted, bred by Scallan’s father Joe who is one of the mainstays of the Bannow & Rathangan agricultural show in south Co Wexford, could now take in a winners race.

The closest finish of the day came in the closing seven-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden with Gordon Doyle’s The Admiral Benbow (7/1), who pulled up and fell on his only two previous forays, leading from before two out for Benny Walsh with the winning eight-year-old then just lasting home to deny Redpender by a head.

Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winning handler Francis Flood struck with his brother Thomas’ newcomer Furry Hill (6/1) in the second division of the six-year-old mares’ maiden.

Furry Hill was headed by Toberlownagh Lady before the second last and the latter seemed destined to succeed until erring at the final fence. Jason McKeown then conjured a renewed effort out of the Shantou-sired Furry Hill to lead on the flat with the ultimate winning margin being a length over Toberlownagh Lady.

Tom Bennett (20) from Duncormack partnered his fourth winner in points when Clane-based owner/trainer Peter Cribbin’s Our Girl Rosey (14/1) made all the running to dispense with Talkin Tina in the first instalment of this same contest.

* The two Munster meetings, scheduled for yesterday, have been pencilled in for next weekend. The Duhallow Foxhounds will host their annual Kildorrery fixture on Saturday February 23rd whilst the East Clare Harriers meeting at Killaloe will now take place on Sunday February 24th.

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