The decision of sponsors’ Gain and the Ballynoe committee to offer a generous €3,000 bonus to the owner of the winning mare yielded a rich dividend as 11 participants went to post, a noticeable improvement from the six-runner line-up that last year’s event attracted, and Simple Steps continued handler Robert Tyner’s stellar campaign by winning a thrilling renewal in the hands of Derek O’Connor.
The five-year-old Simple Steps (100/30), so impressive when winning a Nenagh novice riders’ maiden with Larry O’Carroll in late-January, always travelled with purpose and she moved through to dispute briefly with Gabrielleamee and Kara Loca setting out on the final circuit.
Soon reined back, Simple Steps made the decisive move by edging ahead after three out and she went clear from the penultimate of the 13 obstacles to defeat stable-companion Millie Decourcey by four and a half lengths. Inchiquin High meanwhile stayed on to purposeful effect to secure the minor honours, a further five lengths adrift.
Tyner, who also won this same race with Bingo Bash in 2013, said: “This mare got a bit of a hold up in recent times and I wouldn’t have been disappointed if she had got beaten today. We will probably now go for the either the mares’ pointers bumper in Cork over Easter or the one at Tipperary.”
O’Connor also rode Bingo Bash to victory in this race two years ago and this was the Galwegian’s third ‘Gain’ success for he also won the 2005 running on John Brassil’s Christdalo.
Jamie Codd attained a notable milestone by partnering his 700th points winner aboard Denis Murphy’s You Say What (7/2) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
You Say What went one better than he did on his most recent start behind Freddies Portrait at Tinahely on March 1st by storming ahead from before three out to beat Smuggler’s Stash by two lengths in the colours of his handler’s long-standing patron Tom O’Sullivan. A winners contest is now on the agenda for the Milan-sired You Say What.
Codd then went on to complete a brace aboard the Sean Aherne-trained Justforjames (7/2) in the second division of the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden, the first race incidentally to divide on the Cork and Waterford circuit this year.
1) Monbeg Syndicate’s
b g (Flememsfirth – Norabelle) 11-9 Mr R James
2) Three Dudes Syndicate’s
11-9 Mr D O’Connor
3) R Frisby’s
11-9 Mr H D Dunne
8 ran. 7L, 2 1/2L, 4L. (Winner trained by Sean Thomas Doyle)
1) T O’Sullivan’s
t b g (Milan – Wave Back) 12-2 Mr J J Codd
2) Ms R Hickey’s
12-2 Mr D L Queally
3) Mrs M Mangan’s
11-11 Mr J Hurley
12 ran. 2L, 1L, 25L. (Winner trained by Denis Paul Murphy)
1) Mrs M Ryan’s
b g (Mountain High – Definitely Sarah) 6-12-2 Mr L C Murphy
2) M O’Callaghan’s
7-12-2 Mr C W Fennessy
3) J Cotter’s
6-12-2 Mr D L Queally
11 ran. 3 1/2L, 10L, 10L. (Winner trained by Diarmuid P Ryan)
1) W O’Donnell’s
b g (Dr Massini – Over The Road) 6-12-2 Mr J J Codd
2) D J Shorey’s
6-12-2 Mr J C Barry
3) C Hallahan’s
7-12-2 Mr P D Collins
11 ran. 3L, 1L, 18L. (Winner trained by Sean Aherne)
1) Don’t Tell The Wife Syndicate’s
gr m (Tikkanen – Burma) 5-12-2 Mr D O’Connor
2) De Courcey Racing Club’s
7-12-2 Mr J T Carroll
3) R Kiely’s
6-12-2 Mr R J Kiely
11 ran. 4 1/2L, 5L, 2 1/2L. (Winner trained by Robert Tyner)
1) The Pot Of Gold Syndicate’s
b g (Gold Well – Rotoruasprings) 8-12-2 Mr L C Murphy
2) Mrs T Foreman’s
7-12-2 Mr J J Codd
3) Mrs A J Kennedy’s
12-12-2 Mr J T Carroll
8 ran. 1/2L, 1/2L, 3L. (Winner trained by Padraig Gerard Higgins)
1) P F O’Brien’s
b m (Alhaarth – Tracker) 5-11-11 Mr R James
2) Ms A O’Hanlon & L MacMahon’s
6-11-11 Mr D O’Connor
3) P M Walsh’s
7-11-11 Mr L C Murphy
10 ran. 5L, 2L, 3L. (Winner trained by Colin Bowe)