Derg Princess posts fifth success of season between the flags

Gordon Elliot is well on his way to winning the point-to-point handlers’ championship and the Co Meath-based operator sent out two winners at the rescheduled Brosna Foxhounds meeting outside Tullamore on Saturday afternoon.

Elliot signed off with Derg Princess in the mares’ open and the seven-year-old incidentally was posting her fifth success of the campaign and she’s now the season’s joint-leading horse with stable-companion Nedzer’s Return.

Derg Princess (1/3) always travelled with purpose and she eased past the frontrunning Mandy Carroll, a former hunters chase winner, on the approach to the 15th and final fence to oblige by five lengths. By doing so, Derg Princess was providing rider Barry O’Neill with a winner on his very first ride for Elliot.

“She hardly came out of second gear there and we will now send her to Kinale in two weeks time for the mares’ open there,” said owner/trainer Elliot.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned newcomer Is Love Alive (6/4) initiated Elliot’s brace in the opening four-year-old maiden.

A son of Presenting, Is Love Alive mounted a sustained challenge on The Backup Plan after the second last and he duly mastered Colin Bowe’s charge as the line approached to score by a head in the hands of Roger Quinlan.

Barry O’Neill partnered three winners altogether and he then combined with The Backup Plan’s trainer Colin Bowe to collect the five-year-old mares’ maiden with Annamult (11/4). On The Grid took the 11 runners along until giving way to Malton Times on the run to two out.

The white-faced chesnut Annamult however was edging closer the whole time and she readily made her way to the front after the second last to contain Malton Times by five lengths. On The Grid meanwhile appeared beaten in third when sustaining a crashing penultimate fence fall.

Ross O’Sullivan’s ex-track performer Massinimoss (7/2) completed O’Neill’s hat-trick in the closing six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden. Massinimoss, a third-last fence faller at Largy last month, moved through to dispute the running from the five out and he overcame a final fence error to beat Gone Bust by a comprehensive three lengths.

James Walsh (22) from Tinahely was credited with his tenth career success aboard his father John’s newcomer Cloud Brook (10/1) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The Cloudings-sired Cloud Brook in truth destroyed the opposition. He made his way to the front from the eighth fence and was clearly containing the well-supported Minmore Viking from two out with eight lengths ultimately separating the pair.

The physically-imposing Cloud Brook, who actually pulled a front shoe in the race, is now likely to be offered at Brightwells sale at Cheltenham later this month.

It can be argued that Walsh junior was somewhat unlucky not to complete a double aboard Cloud Brook’s stable-companion Gold Credit in the six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

Gold Credit always travelled with purpose and the daughter of Gold Well had just moved through to overtake Suzie Lightning when erring at the final fence.

The vastly more-experienced Suzie Lightning (7/2) on the other hand produced a fabulous leap here and she gamely made her way back to the front on the flat under her handler Dick Lalor’s daughter Liz to dismiss Gold Credit by a head.

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