The French-bred newcomer Corri Lindo (7/2) though was far from inconvenienced by the conditions, readily putting his rivals to the sword under his handler Damian Murphy in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the day with 10 runners.
Corri Lindo always took the eye in running and he moved through to lead from six out.
From the fourth last of the 14 obstacles, it was crystal clear that Corri Lindo was possessing too many aces for runner-up Irish Mustard and the winning son of Corri Piano ultimately obliged by eight lengths.
The favourite Emerging Force was the only other finisher and returned a further 15 lengths adrift in third spot.
Corri Lindo is now bound for next month’s Cheltenham Festival sale on March 12th.
“This horse was just very backward last year,” Murphy said.
“He has needed the bit of time, but he has always worked very well at home.”
Irish Mustard’s rider John Barry went one better by partnering Dylanseoghan (4/1) in the closing six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden for absent handler Colm Murphy.
Dylanseoghan, who showed clear promise by finishing third on his penultimate foray at Lisronagh in November, did well to survive a notable third-last fence blunder and he duly mastered long-time leader Our Venture before the final fence to score by 10 lengths in the colours of Murphy’s father Patrick.
Kara Loca (9/4), representing the Our Venture connections of handler Michael Winters and rider Ciaran Fennessy, impressed on her initial career outing in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
The Kayf Tara-sired six-year-old Kara Loca, owned and bred by Carl Beame of Waterloo Stud outside Mallow, disputed the running after a mile and she stylishly asserted from four out to contain Misty Mai by an unchallenged eight lengths.
Winters now plans to run Kara Loca in the coveted Gain Mares’ Final at Ballynoe next month.
The closest finish of the day came in the novice riders adjacent hunts maiden when Callmenewtown (3/1) bounced back from a slightly-disappointing ninth-placed effort at Askeaton two weeks earlier to provide 18-year-old Chris O’Donovan from nearby Shanballymore with a second career success.
The eight-year-old Callmenewtown, whom Aidan Fogarty handles for Newtownshandrum-based breeder Denis McAuliffe and Emma Cully, dug deep on the flat to thwart the mare Pops Choice by a neck.
The meeting’s secretary of 15 years Marie Harding saddled Keep Back (7/2), owned by her father Johnjoe Harding, to record a tenacious frontrunning success in the winners of two. The seasonal debutant Keep Back went on from four out and, with runner-up For Carmel almost coming to a standstill when blundering at the second last, he gamely maintained the tempo with Eoin O’Brien to triumph by two and a half lengths.
Keep Back is now likely to return to the racetrack at some stage.
David John Byrne, shortly to return to the United States where he has enjoyed quite considerable success as an amateur, gave the Sam Curling-trained BL Swagger (4/1) a supremely confident waiting ride to collect the six-runner open.
Still last four out, the 2013 Clonmel bumper winner BL Swagger made progress to challenge on the descent to the final fence and he asserted inside the final 50 yards to see-off Pals Leg by a length. BL Swagger, the initial winner that Curling has trained for Tessa Foreman from Ballingarry in north Co Tipperary, is likely to continue pointing for the remainder of the season with a probable hunter chase campaign on the agenda next term.