Nedzer’s Return (4/5) eased past the frontrunning Fahrisee with regular partner Annie Bowles on the run to the fourth last of the 15 obstacles. Whilst runner-up Klassy, a third-fence faller at Ballybunion the previous afternoon, refused to yield in the closing stages, he was still one and a half lengths adrift of the winning 11-year-old at the line.
Nedzer’s Return is now well on course to win the leading horse of the season award for he’s now positioned on the seven-winner mark. Norfolk native Ms Bowles meanwhile was bringing her tally for the campaign to 11 and she’s now four winners clear of Evanna McCutcheon in the lady riders’ championship.
Ciaran Fennessy partnered two winners, the former novice riders champion getting off the mark aboard Brian Hassett’s Bendala Bleu (4/1) in the winners of one.
Bendala Bleu, a recent Dromahane maiden winner, set sail for home with four fences remaining and he gave his supporters near heart palpitations by erring at the second last. The winning son of Beneficial however was soon back on an even keel and he duly defeated Fernando’s Song by two lengths with a 20-length gap to the third-placed Charlie Swift. Kinsale is now likely to feature next weekend for Bendala Bleu followed by a trip to the August sales at Doncaster.
Fennessy excelled when completing his double aboard Norman Lee’s Co Galway challenger Ultimate Risk (7/2) in the closing seven-year-old and upwards maiden for he brought the winning son of Tamayaz from well off the pace to lead on the run to the final fence. Whilst leaping out to his right here, Ultimate Risk still beat favourite Paddyseanmor by four lengths in the colours of handler Lee’s partner Marie Costello.
The old firm of Michael Winters and Mikey O’Connor combined to collect the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden with ex-track performer Theatre Princess (3/1). Owned by Eamon Tarrant, Theatre Princess made all the running and, whilst jumping out to the right at the final three fences, she still defeated Senators Glory with the minimum of fuss by four lengths.
The Robert Tyner-trained Massinis Adventure (9/4) similarly impressed by annihilating the opposition in the second division of the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden, much to the consternation of the 22 bookmakers present. Ballynoe runner-up Massinis Adventure, who was fitted with cheekpieces, eased his way into the lead for Gerry Mangan with six fences remaining and the son of Dr Massini duly won hard held by 12 lengths from the staying-on Sangram.
Massinis Adventure, owned by Patrick O’Connor from Castletownroche, is now a possible for the Kinsale fixture next weekend. Colman Sweeney unfortunately sustained a suspected shoulder injury in a fourth-fence fall from Uber Alles in this race.
Barry O’Neill kept his supporters happy by landing the first instalment of this same contest with Buckontupence (7/1), trained by the absent Donnchadh Doyle who was scheduled to depart from Rosslare last night with a team of horses for the Brightwells sale at Cheltenham this Wednesday.
Buckontupence, another to run with cheekpieces, struck the front at the fifth last and the recent Durrow third readily accelerated clear from the final fence to dispose of favourite Toe To Toe.
Denis Murphy’s Onenightinvienna (4/1) stepped up from his fourth-placed Inch debut effort in late-March by storming clear from two out to provide 21-year-old Johnny Kinsella with a second career success in the opening four-year-old maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the day in 14 runners. Onenightinvienna represents Nenagh-based Pat Coffey, who also sent out Overnova to triumph in the mares’ maiden at Tattersalls Farm on Saturday.