A total of 54 horses participated on the six-race card at the well-attended United Hunt Club fixture and Derek O’Connor dominated the session by partnering three winners, all for different handlers incidentally.
The reigning champion experienced the best possible start to proceedings by landing the opening five-year-old maiden aboard the Kevin O’Sullivan-trained newcomer Monalee (4/1).
A son of Milan that’s out of a half-sister to former Thyestes Chase heroine By My Belle, the towering Monalee was positioned towards the rear of the 11-runner field until edging closer from the third last.
He led on the outer before the final fence and he then dug deep on the flat to dismiss last month’s Tattersalls Farm runner-up Thomas Do by a length.
Monalee is owned by O’Sullivan’s father-in-law Tom Fitzgerald, who was also the acting judge at this meeting.
Roxborough, Midleton-based Fitzgerald said: “I bought this fellow as a foal and he’s a fine big chasing type that we will hopefully find a new home for now.”
O’Connor then took the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden aboard the Robert Tyner-trained newcomer Dont Kick Nor Bite (6/4).
The Beneficial-sired Dont Kick Nor Bite, representing the six-member All The Hens Syndicate from Kinsale that includes Tyner’s wife Mary, jumped into the lead at the second last of the 14 obstacles and she bounded clear on the flat to dispose of Clondaw Nell by four lengths in the style of a probable track winner.
The Galwegian brought up his hat-trick aboard long odds-on shot Consharon Boy (2/5) in the confined hunt maiden.
Consharon Boy, owned by Tomas Ahern from Carrigtwohill in partnership with Co Clare native Tom Considine and Michael O’Sullivan from Cork city, eased to the front after the fifth last and the triumphant six-year-old made the rest of the running to slam the mare Laura’s Lark by 10 lengths.
Consharon Boy was initiating the opening leg of an across-the-card double for Terence O’Brien as the Carrigtwohill-based operator was also on the mark with former pointer Articulum in the bumper at Naas.
O’Connor was foiled of a four-timer when his mount Bandon Bridge failed by a neck to beat the Ciaran Fennessy-ridden Strideout Euro (6/1) in what was the closest finish of the day in the winners of two.
Ex-track performer Strideout Euro, who led from four out, is trained by Michelle Duggan at Laharn Cross and she intimated that the triumphant 10-year-old will be prepared for a tilt at a hunters chase later in the season.
The TJ Nagle Junior-trained newcomer Gran Cavallo (10/1) destroyed the opposition with talented 5lb claimer Eoin O’Sullivan in the six-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Gran Cavallo went to the front at the sixth fence and he stormed clear on the climb from the second last to beat Quarry Wizard by 12 lengths without scarcely knowing that he even had a race.
Gran Cavallo represents Nagle’s 20-year-old son David, a second year Equine Business student in Maynooth.
The previously once-raced Sunny Day (5/1 – 4/1) made light of in excess of a three-year lay-off by returning to the coveted number one slot in the seven-year-old and upwards maiden.
The Denis Prendergast-trained eight-year-old Sunny Day led setting out on the final circuit and he dug deep for Kevin Power from before the final fence to edge out the patiently-ridden Hurricane Ben by six lengths.
1) T N Fitzgerald’s
b g (Milan – Tempest Belle) 12-1 Mr D O’Connor
2) J P Murphy’s
12-1 Mr J J Codd
3) T J Prendergast’s
12-1 Mr K E Power
11 ran. 1L, 10L. 3L. (Winner trained by Kevin O’Sullivan)
1) All The Hens Syndicate’s
b m (Beneficial – Tudor Glyn) 5-11-10 Mr D O’Connor
2) Mrs C Goff’s
5-11-5 Mr S Fitzgerald
3) P J O’Driscoll’s
5-11-10 Mr R Deegan
8 ran. 4L, 15L, 3L. (Winner trained by Robert Tyner)
1) D P Nagle’s
b g (Milan – Grangebridge) 11-10 Mr E M O’Sullivan
2) T O’Flynn’s
12-1 Mr C W Fennessy
3) Ms E Logan’s
12-1 M J J Codd
10 ran. 12L, 1/2L, 12L. (Winner trained by T J Nagle Jnr)
1) T Ahern/T Considine/ M D O’Sullivan’s
b g (Zagreb – Coolafancy) 6-12-1 Mr D O’Connor
2) P Buckner’s
7-11-10 Mr D L Queally
3) I Kingston’s
10-11-10 Miss S McGrath
5 ran. 10L, 3L, 10L. (Winner trained by Terence O’Brien)
1) Ms N Lynam’s
b g (Welsh Lion – For Grainne) 10-12-1 Mr C W Fennessy
2) Miss K O’Driscoll’s
6-12-1 Mr D O’Connor
3) P J Healy’s
11-12-1 Mr D M Spillane
8 ran. Nk, 8L, 3L. (Winner trained by Michelle Duggan)
1) A J Fogarty’s
b/br g (Heron Island – Haut De Gamme) 8-12-1 Mr K E Power
2) E Callanan’s
7-12-1 Mr D O’Connor
3*) H Cleary’s
7-12-1 Mr M Scallan
3*)Ms K Costello’s
7-12-1 Mr E P O’Brien
12 ran. 6L, Dist, Dead Heat. (Winner trained by D E Prendergast)