The Enda Bolger-trained newcomer My Hometown created a hugely-favourable impression on his career debut at Saturday’s Kanturk-Duhallow point-to-point meeting at Dromahane by recording a bloodless success in the first division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.
On an afternoon that witnessed some eight races, the well-touted My Hometown (evens –1/2) was bounced out in front and he gave a breathtaking display of fencing at the head of affairs. He effortlessly asserted on the run to the penultimate of the 13 obstacles to defeat Ben Button by a hard-held four lengths in the familiar JP McManus silks.
“JP (McManus) was at Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Thomond Park last year when he dedicated the song My Hometown to John Thomas McNamara,” said Bolger of My Hometown, acquired by bloodstock agent John O’Byrne on McManus’ behalf as a foal. “JP then said that he wanted to name a horse My Hometown. I wanted this fellow to start off in a point rather than in a bumper and he’s a very promising sort.”
My Hometown’s rider Derek O’Connor partnered three winners and he will have attained immense satisfaction from his success aboard newcomer Fairly Legal (4/1) in the second division of this same contest for the son of Beneficial is owned by his wife Carol O’Donnell.
The Robert Tyner-trained Fairly Legal always took the eye in running with the 2013 Goffs Land Rover sale graduate moving through to challenge at the second last. Runner-up Mustmeetalady led away from the final fence except that Fairly Legal battled back bravely inside the final 50 yards to lead literally on the line, a head the winning margin in what was the closest finish of the day. Fairly Legal will now be offered at this coming Friday’s Brightwells sale after racing at Cheltenham.
The Galwegian brought up his hat-trick aboard the Ronnie O’Leary-trained newcomer At The Doubble (3/1) in the second division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Coole Charmer led on the approach to three out and the Paul Cashman-trained first-timer still held a fractional advantage when coming to grief at the last. The Oscar-sired At The Doubble was then the faster away from this final fence and he duly defeated Edwulf by three and a half lengths.
The previous Sunday’s Ballindenisk victor Two Rockers (4/7) maintained handler Adrian Maguire’s fabulous start to the season by making all the running in the open. Two Rockers, who was fitted with a hood, could be called the most likely winner from some way out and he stylishly drew clear from the second last for Declan Queally to slam Last Time D’Albain by ten lengths. The seven-year-old Two Rockers, a former three-time hurdle winner for Alan King, will be kept pointing for the time being.
Maguire’s brother-in-law Michael Winters kept his supporters happy by collecting the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the day in 16 starters, with last December’s Cork bumper runner-up Clounts Meadows (2/1 – evens). Despite some indifferent leaps, Clounts Meadows stormed to the front with Mikey O’Connor on the outer at the final fence to thwart Red River Gold by a length in the colours of Rathmore-based owner Mary O’Sullivan. Clounts Meadows is now likely to come back to this same venue for a winners race on Tuesday December 30th.
Ciaran Fennessy deputised for Maxine O’Sullivan, who suffered a first-fence fall from Galloping Gander in the open, aboard her father Eugene’s O’Sullivan’s Everest (5/2) in the adjacent hunts maiden. The five-year-old Everest made smooth progress on the outer before three out and he stylishly pulled clear from the penultimate obstacle to defeat Danmurphysdoor by five lengths in the colours of Mallow-based owner Joe Buckley that were also carried to success by Um From Umbridge at Affane three weeks earlier.
Liam Cusack’s ex-track performer Graces Benefit (5/1), who was fitted with a hood, made every post a winning one with Kevin Power, despite jumping frequently out to her right on her points debut in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden. Frontrunning tactics once again proved successful when the towering debutant Definite Outcome (6/1), a second winner as a handler for former amateur rider Eoin McDonagh from Cahir, returned to the coveted number one slot with Pa King in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.