In reaching almost €100,000, the top lot proved to be the €10,000 paid for a round of golf with former riding superstars Tony McCoy and John Francome.
Trainer Dermot Weld, who sponsored one of the races on the card, was on the mark in another, recording a poignant success when Show Court (2-1) took the Gain Horse Feeds and JS Bolger Maiden Hurdle, under Luke Dempsey.
The son of Vinnie Roe and Sparkling Gem travelled strongly from the outset, led in the straight and eased clear to win by a wide margin.
“His knowledge of jumping and handling the ground were key factors, but it was a moderate race,” said Weld.
“Of course, the main reason I’m here today is for Robbie McNamara and it was a poignant win because the only time this horse ran over hurdles before was when Robbie rode him.
“I’m glad for Luke, but Robbie would have been riding him, as every horse Kris (Weld, owner) owned Robbie rode.”
A tidy gamble was landed in the opener, the Irish National Stud 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle, as the Gavin Cromwell-trained Jer’s Girl (8-1 to 5-2 fav) made a winning debut over hurdles, under Ger Fox. Always to the fore, the daughter of Jeremy jumped well throughout, and won with plenty in hand, from the promising Tamisa.
Said Fox: “She was well schooled, loves that ground, and jumps great. She wasn’t doing much in front, but winged the last and did it well.”
In contrast to the first race, A Great View was friendless in the market (7-2 in the morning, returned 11-1) prior to his smooth success in the Martinstown Opportunity Maiden Hurdle.
The Denis Cullen-trained four-year-old, having just his second run over timber, following his Ballinrobe debut five months ago, travelled smoothly for much of the trip, and eased clear from the final flight to win readily under Jody McGarvey.
Said Cullen: “He handled the ground well today and is a beautiful horse, who will jump a fence in time. Hopefully he can go on to better things. A winners of one or a little novice race over Christmas could be next.”
After back-to-back runner-up finishes, the Pat Fahy-trained Tongie (4-5f) earned a deserved victory in the Irish Racehorse Trainers’ Association Maiden Hurdle. Danny Mullins was positive aboard the son of Beneficial and found plenty to see off the challenge of Goodluck Noel.
“He’d want to be winning that,” said Fahy, who added: “I bought him as a chaser. We could start schooling him over fences next week, and look for a suitable chase for him.”
Race five was the Dermot Weld Britain v Ireland Qualified Riders Challenge Handicap Hurdle and, curiously, it was one of the runners not part of the challenge, Mic Milano, who prevailed, to give Templemore jockey Tommy Brett his first racecourse success.
Always travelling well, the 16-1 chance didn’t have to be asked a serious question to beat the well-backed Vintage Supreme.
Said Ryan: “We almost gave up on him – he lost his way completely. He was a lovely horse in his younger days, and isn’t the same horse now as when he won a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe a few years ago.”
Of Brett, Ryan added: “He’s a good kid, and plenty will be written about him in time. He gave the horse a peach of a ride - and he’s not a bad hurler either.”
Holeinthewall Bar (5-1) made amends for a narrow defeat at Clonmel recently by taking the Forenaghts Stud Handicap Hurdle for trainer Michael Hourigan and jockey Mikey Fogarty.
After travelling sweetly for much of the trip, he looked booked for a smooth success when sent to the front in the homestraight. However he had to keep him up to his work to deny the running-on The Winkler and Presenting Mahler, doing so by half a length and a short head.
“I’m delighted for Stevie (Fahy, owner),” said Hourigan. “He owns the Holeinthewall Bar, and has always been a great supporter of mine. The horse was mugged on the line twice this year and I thought it was going to happen again but, thankfully, it didn’t. His jumping was impeccable today.”
Massinis Adventure (12-1) put in a fluent round of jumping en route to victory in the Easyfix Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by Philip Enright for Robert and Mary Tyner, who also had two point to point winners on the day, the gelding challenged at the top of the straight and, with good jumps at the last two, pulled clear of dead-heaters Quelle Belle Vie and Sacre Malta.
John Joe Walsh trained his eleventh winner of the season when Una’s Pleasure, ridden by Sheila Ahern, ran out a very easy winner of the bumper.
Out the back early, Ahern brought her mount into the race steadily and didn’t have to be hard on the mare as she pulled clear inside the last couple of furlongs to win easily.
Ahern, who has ridden Fegentri Series winners in Germany, Sweden and Oman this year as well as a bumper winner in Cork, said: “We were a bit worried about the ground, but she did it well.”
Walsh added: “Sheila gave her a grand cool ride. I was just a little bit afraid of the going, but she had a good run at Cork, and did it nicely today. She’ll go hurdling now.”