Well-touted Nambour turns on the style

The Liam Burke-trained newcomer Nambour lit up yesterday’s well attended but bitterly cold Kanturk-Duhallow point-to-point meeting at Dromahane by destroying the opposition in the second division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The middle leg of a hat-trick for Derek O’Connor, the well-touted Nambour (6/4) made virtually all the running. The winning German-bred effortlessly powered clear from two out to beat Johnniesofa by an unextended three lengths in the colours of Dungarvan-based owner Walter Connors.

“This has always been a good horse and he has just needed a bit of time. He will be a smashing sort with another year under his belt and he’s a staying chaser in the making,” said Burke.

O’Connor instigated his three-timer aboard Travel Ogue (4/7- 4/5), trained by his long-standing ally Robert Tyner, in the opening four-year-old mares’ maiden.

Travel Ogue, runner-up to recent Limerick bumper winner Whistling Dixie at Lemonfield last season, had to overcome serious interference after four out.

Regardless, she still stormed to the front after the second last to contain debutante Timeforfirth by two and a half lengths. A mares’ winners race is now on the agenda.

O’Connor signed off aboard the towering newcomer Deans Road (7/1), a strapping embryonic chaser that Joe Casey trains for British-based owner/breeder Michael Creed, in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Deans Road always took the eye in running and he stylishly mastered last season’s Dromahane runner-up Iconic Image from the last to score by one and a quarter lengths.

Ciarán Fennessy likewise had an afternoon to savour and the Fermoy amateur partnered two winners, the Michael Winters-trained newcomer Churchtown Champ (5/4) opening his account in the first division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The winning son of Robin Des Champs, although none too clever at the final two obstacles, found plenty on the flat to repel Marquis Of Carabas by a length in the colours of his joint-breeder Jimmy Gordon. Churchtown Champ is now likely to be sold.

Fennessy brought up his brace aboard the Brian O’Keeffe-trained Castleowen (9/2) in the adjacent hunts maiden. A dual runner-up last season, Castletowen benefited from front-running tactics on what was his return to action and the eight-year-old was clearly in command when his closest pursuer Rockinrolldixie crashed out at the final fence.

Racegoers were treated to a truly gripping finish in the open lightweight as long-time leader Seventh Sign was headed on the line by John Costello’s Final Gift (4/1), the mount of ‘Corky’ Carroll, with a short head the winning margin. Costello admitted to being surprised by Final Gift’s victory, given he who was returning from a near 20-month absence.

Terence O’Brien, whilst out of luck with Iconic Image, still kept his supporters happy by sending out Hes Our Vinnie (6/1) to collect the second instalment of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Hes Our Vinnie swept past the pacesetting Theflyingportrait inside the final 50 yards to oblige by two lengths in the silks of joint-owners Leo McCabe and Brian Lenahan.

The newcomer Goulane Diva (12/1) sprung a mild surprise by landing the closing five and six-year-old mares’ maiden with her handler Seamus Spillane’s son Dinny.

Still only fifth with two fences remaining, the Mrs Mary O’Donnell-owned/bred Goulane Diva gallantly overtook Classic Palace inside the final 50 yards to triumph by two and a half lengths.

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