Carrigeen Acebo (2/1), having her initial start in an open against geldings, was always positioned in the first couple with Lalor’s daughter Liz and the victorious grey moved past Majestic Oak at the third last of the 15 obstacles. Majestic Oak was back in front two out, but Carrigeen Acebo is a teak-tough customer and she joined issue coming to the last. There was then little to separate the pair until Carrigeen Acebo asserted inside the final 50 yards to deny Majestic Oak by one and a half lengths with a 16-length break to the third-placed Saticon.
“She wouldn’t like that real tacky ground out there today and we will stay fiddling away in points for the time being,” said handler Lalor of Carrigeen Acebo, whom he trains for wife Anne.
Derek O’Connor was the only rider to partner two winners, the Galwegian opening his account aboard Pat Doyle’s Polymath (3/1) in the four-year-old maiden. Polymath, the tenth horse that owners’ Gigginstown House Stud have won a four-year-old maiden with this season, edged ahead coming to the final fence and last month’s Tallow third then had little difficulty in beating Minella Experience by two lengths. The well-supported favourite Inspired Poet returned a further one and a half lengths adrift in third spot. The likelihood is that Polymath will now be left off.
O’Connor later collected the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard Ronnie O’Leary’s newcomer Hard To Call (4/1). The Presenting-sired Hard To Call, representing O’Leary’s wife Vicky, was left in front when the 10-length leader Icing On The Cake fell three out. Runner-up Star Gesture held every chance from out except that he then wasn’t able to capitalise when Hard To Call blundered at the final fence, three and a half lengths ultimately separating the pair.
Asithappens (10/1), absent since landing a Rathcannon maiden in late-October, benefited from a confident waiting ride from ‘Corky’ Carroll to take the winners of one. Ex-hurdler Asithappens moved through to pick up the running on the outer before the final fence and he then drew clear on the run-in to dismiss Vaxalco by two lengths. Asithappens, a horse with a preference for good ground, will probably run on the racecourse for the summer months according to owner/trainer Liam Casey.
Castlecomber native Larry O’Carroll, who works with Robert Tyner, partnered his second career winner aboard James Barrett’s Fire (7/2) in the novice riders confined hunt maiden. The previously twice-raced Fire moved through to join issue with Letitshine between the final two fences and he then fought off Andy Slattery’s representative by two lengths.
Midnight Theatre (5/2) justified the lengthy trek from handler Gavin Cromwell’s Co Meath stables by returning to the coveted number one slot in the closing five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the day in 18 runners.
Midnight Theatre, a fine third on her debut at Oldtown last month, eased through to overtake long-time leader Jodies Miss after two out and the winning daughter of King’s Theatre then bounded clear with Kevin Power to score by five lengths. Cromwell, who sent out Sretaw to win last season’s Irish Cambridgeshire at The Curragh, now plans to run the clearly-useful Midnight Theatre in a mares’ bumper.