Mixed fortunes for King

Johnny King experienced mixed fortunes on Amateurs Day in Cork, completing a his first double on Winter Magic and Operating and being suspended for five days for using his whip with excessive frequency on his first winner.

The Jimmy Mangan-trained Winter Magic, a three-time winner in the point-to-point sphere, stayed on dourly under King’s driving to deny The Tourand Man by three-quarters of a length in the Coolmore Stud N.H. Sires Maiden Hunters Chase and is now likely to go handicapping.

King followed-up when the previously disappointing Operating, in the familiar colours of Michael Buckley, got the better of Kashline in the corkracecourse.ie Beginners Chase.

The winning rider later admitted that he was in front sooner than planned on the Jessica Harrington-trained seven-year-old, before staying on to triumph by two and quarter lengths. King commented: “He’s a grand horse and should win plenty of races on summer ground.”

Odds-on favourite Mossey Joe, third in the Foxhunters at Aintree and having his second run for Enda Bolger, proved a big disappointment when making the running before fading to fill third spot behind 33/1 shot Oscar Barton in the Jack Tyner Memorial Hunters Chase.

Ridden by Johnny Barry, Oscar Barton, which Sam Curling trains for his father Peter, edged ahead going to the last and went on to beat Ferris Bueller by four lengths with Mossey Joe a further eight lengths adrift.

It was a red letter day for Paul O’Flynn, an All-Ireland winner with the Cork Senior Footballers in 2010, who recorded his first racecourse success as a trainer when Pops Well, ridden by Ciaran Fennessy (picked-up a one-day whip ban), made all to win the Glenview & Rathbarry Stud Mares Maiden Hunters Chase.

O’Flynn, who has already saddled six point-to-point winners, admitted: “I got the same enjoyment out of that as winning an All-Ireland,” before confirming that he’s working full-time with horses now, at his base in nearby Ballyclough.

Most impressive winner of the day was the Robert Tyner-trained 2/5 favourite Pulled Mussel, which bolted up by nineteen lengths, under James ‘Corky’ Carroll, in the Pegus Horse Feed Point-to-Point Final.

Recently purchased by the five-member Inittowinit Syndicate from England, the five-year-old Craigsteel gelding will now head for a winners’ bumper at the Curragh next month, according to trainer’s wife Mary, who stated: “He looks the part!”

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