On an afternoon that saw extremely testing ground conditions due to the recent inclement weather, De Bene Esse (5/2), who would have been made a big play on his debut at Tattersalls Farm in December only to exit at the second last, was sent to the front by his owner John Power’s son Kevin after a mile. De Bene Esse then made the rest of the running, jumping beautifully in the process and the victorious son of Scorpion stormed clear on the stiff ascent from the penultimate of the 13 obstacles to defeat Murdo Mackenzie by eight lengths.
“This is a real good sort and we would have been disappointed if he had got beaten today as he goes really well. He will probably now go the Brightwells sale at the Cheltenham festival on March 12th,” reported handler Barry of De Bene Esse.
Adrian Maguire’s Two Rockers (1/4) recorded his fourth success of the campaign by making all the running in the three-runner open, much to the consternation of the ten bookmakers present.
Two Rockers, who was fitted with a hood, jumped economically throughout and the former three-timer British track winner effortlessly asserted before the last to beat veteran Oscar Delta by four lengths in the hands of Declan Queally. Maguire intimated that Two Rockers may now contest the coveted Tetretema Cup Hunters Chase at Gowran Park next Saturday – March 7th.
John Murphy likes nothing more than to have a winner at this meeting and the locally-based Upton handler struck with Wood Pigeon (4/1) in the adjacent hunts maiden.
Wood Pigeon, second in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden at this same meeting 12 months ago, made smooth progress from two out as the front-running pair The Black Dog and Dark Outsider started to thread water. The winning six-year-old, also bred at Murphy’s Highfort Stud, took up the running with Martin Hickey at the final fence to repel Whos De Baby by two lengths. A steeplechase campaign is now probable for Wood Pigeon.
xcelled by bringing last month’s Ballyvodock runner-up Leading The Life (3/1) from off the pace to collect the closing winners of one.
The Donie Murphy-trained 12-year-old Leading The Life eased into contention from two out and he hit the front at the final fence, easing clear on the flat to slam Hawkers Son by ten lengths. Winning owner Jeff Murphy from Fermoy indicated that Leading The Life, the only one of the six runners with previous track experience, will now contest another winners race.
Handler Brian O’Keeffe struck with his wife Nora’s homebred Kilclooney Wood (6/4) in the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden. Travelling best of all three out, the recent Askeaton third Kilclooney Wood gamely got on top between the final two obstacles to contain U Me And Them by three lengths with the in-form Ciaran Fennessy. O’Keeffe, who has also sent out Castleowen to win two points this season, hinted that Kilclooney Wood will now be targeted at a winners race.
The Mark Cahill-trained Premier Rose (7/2) destroyed the opposition by making all the running in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden, a race that was actually won two years ago by Saturday’s €50, 000 Leopardstown handicap winner She’s Got Grit. Premier Rose gave a superb exhibition of fencing with Philip Harris and she bounded clear before the last to dismiss dual runner-up Jumpandtravel by 12 lengths in the colours of Mullinahone-based breeder Noel Guiry.