Shanahan’s Turn saunters home

It may have well happened that those in attendance at yesterday’s Muskerry Foxhounds point-to-point meeting at Birch Hill witnessed the successful debut of a potential top-notch performer for Eugene O’Sullivan’s Shanahan’s Turn left many racegoers searching for previously unused superlatives following his stunning victory in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

On an afternoon that unfortunately witnessed Derek O’Connor sustaining a suspected fractured leg in a first fence fall from Massinis Adventure in the confined hunts maiden, the well-supported Shanahan’s Turn (7/1 – 3/1) disputed the running with Hard Hitting until setting sail for home on the ascent to three out.

It was soon plainly apparent that the winning son of Indian Danehill was gone beyond recall and he duly sauntered home by a distance from Paurick O’Connor’s Le Feu Garde.

“This is a right horse, but I was worried about the good ground here. He will probably now go to the sales later this month,” reported handler O’Sullivan of Shanahan’s Turn, owned by Co Kilkenny-based stallion master Nicky Teehan.

O’Sullivan certainly had an afternoon to savour for he was also on the mark with the Mikey O’Connor-ridden Hurricane Lauren in the grief-stricken five-year-old mares’ maiden.

Hurricane Lauren, another to find favour in the market hardening from 3/1 into 2/1, eased to the front before three out and last year’s Goffs Land Rover bumper third was clearly containing Missed Cloud when Michael Winter’s newcomer crashed out at the second last. Hurricane Lauren, representing Tomas Singleton, is similarly sales bound in the near future.

Former southern regional champion O’Connor departed with two winners for he was later on the mark aboard John O’Shaughnessy’s Wilcos Mo Chara (4/1) in the second split of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Wilcos Mo Chara, who showed clear signs of talent by finishing third at Aghabullogue in January, readily took up the running before the third last and he then survived a penultimate fence blunder to dismiss Fabulous Fun by ten lengths.

The in-form O’Shaughnessy now plans to aim Wilcos Mo Chara, representing his long-standing patron Tony Wilson from Rylane, at the point-to-point bumper at Tipperary on May 16th.

Shanahan’s Turn’s rider Ciaran Fennessy similarly partnered two winners, the Fermoy amateur doubling up aboard Sean O’Brien’s Gort An Chnoic (5/1) in the winners of two.

Gort An Chnoic, a confined hunt maiden winner at O’Brien’s local Kilworth fixture in March, took up the running at the third last and the homebred son of Revoque was always possessing too many aces for favourite Killdunne from the final fence.

Derek O’Connor was earlier out of luck aboard Easter Hunt in the four-year-old maiden for Sam Curling’s newcomer, a son of Kalanasi, seemed assured of success when cruelly coming to grief at the final fence.

Easter Hunt’s demise paved the way for William Codd’s 10/1 shot Tullyesker Hill to provide 22-year-old Jimmy O’Rourke with a third winner of the season. Tullyesker Hill’s owner William Drew from Drogheda missed the occasion as he was airborne for Madrid.

Galwegian O’Connor later missed a winner with Con McSweeney deputising for him aboard Robert Tyner’s ex-track performer Ballylibert (2/1) in the first division of the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

Ballylibert, having his first start in points, made his way past the promising Western Mist at the second last to oblige by ten lengths from Militant Monk in the Mary T Hayes silks that were made famous by former Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Newmill.

Timjoe, another that was placed over hurdles, attained his due reward by coming home as he pleased under a motionless Richie Harding in the second part of this same contest. Those that supported Timjoe from 2/1 into 4/5 never had an anxious moment once Terence O’Brien’s charge coasted to the front at the third last, 12 lengths the ultimate winning margin over Claire Pet.

Punters didn’t get it quite all their own way for Donncha Duggan’s 8/1 shot Attentiontodetail led from the third last with John Barry to deny Beallandendall in a gripping finish to the confined hunts maiden. A tilt at a mares’ bumper is now probable for the towering Attentiontodetail, jointly owned by Margo Daly and Pat O’Neill from Mitchelstown.

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