Circe’s Island off the mark in style

Tom Gibney, who won the 2012 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse with Lion Na Bearnai, was on the mark at Limerick yesterday when the consistent Circe’s Island landed the Follow Us On Twitter Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

Circe’s Island off the mark in style

Partnered by in-form Adrian Heskin, the winner was always on the pace and had this in safe keeping early in the straight.

Said Gibney: “She has been in great form for the last three weeks, but you don’t know how long it will last. The field is next for her, she handles bad ground very well.”

Cloudy Rock, so impressive when winning a bumper at Tramore, went off the heavily backed favourite.

She travelled beautifully through the contest for Davy Condon, but found nothing when asked to go and close down Circe’s Island. Cloudy Rock was later found to be lame.

Heskin completed a double with an excellent display aboard Liz Doyle’s Subtle Ben in the Supermacs’ Dooradoyle Beginners Chase.

Subtle Ben was powered into contention going to the second last and had already taken the measure of the front-running The Housekeeper when that one departed at the final fence.

Commented Doyle: “He’s very solid, without being exciting. I don’t know if I will keep going with him now, he will be a three mile plus horse next season.”

The victory of Charlie Swan’s Hareth, in the Join The Tote Go Racing Handicap Hurdle, was due almost entirely to the skill of Paul Carberry. Hareth made a couple of early mistakes and was soon trailing the field. But Carberry gradually worked into the contest, although the four-year-old still had eight in front of him approaching the home turn.

Carberry then produced his charge to edge to the front after the last and nursed him home a short head to the good over Go Paddy Go.

“He (Carberry) was unreal”, said Swan. “The horse is not the most natural of jumpers, he has to find his feet. Paul was brilliant, he didn’t panic.”

The progressive Draycott Place followed his success in a maiden at Downpatrick with a decent effort in the Limerick GAA Novice Hurdle.

Partnered by Andrew Lynch, the winner made most of the running, but the game appeared to be up when the market leader, The Plan Man, eased past going to two out.

Lynch, however, had saved plenty and Draycott Place rallied back and was soon in total control.

Trainer, John Ryan, reported: “He’s a nice horse, a proper horse. Andrew said he hated the ground, he wants good ground.”

The relatively new relationship between Jessica Harrington and Davy Russell continues to prosper and they enjoyed another success when Cailin Annamh took the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Mares’ Chase.

The odds-on shot always had the look of a winner, led over two out and only had to be pushed clear to beat Caoimhe’s Delight.

Said Harrington: “She’s some gutsy mare after the fall the last day (Fairyhouse). That ground was as slow as she wants, she will head on all summer over fences.”

Sarah O’Brien, Aidan’s 19-year-old daughter, rode her fourth winner when guiding MacBride to victory in the Saturday Night Fever 7th June Bumper.

Trained by Aidan and owned by J P McManus, McBride made a lot of the running and rallied strongly in the straight to beat the flattering Mm Dazzler.

“He was green in front, but gave me a great ride”, said a delighted Sarah. Frank Berry, representing McManus, said: “Sarah gave him a lovely ride, he will keep going for the summer and we will find a winners’ bumper next.”

The modest Cul Camps Limerick Handicap Chase went to the Philip Enright ridden Close Review.

He eased into the lead between the final two fences, but was all wrong at the last, somehow survived, and then forged away to score by five lengths.

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