Conna trainers Eamonn Gallagher and Jimmy Mangan saddled the first two home in the first division of the Mallow Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, with the former shading the verdict with Cailean’s Angel.
The winner was runner-up in the race 12 months ago but returned after two modest runs over fences. Clearly better for those runs, the 5-1 favourite made most and kept on well to fend off neighbour Capture The Action.
“I have the bragging rights in Conna, as I beat Jimmy Mangan, but I actually worked her in Jimmy’s the other day, so I have to thank him,” said Gallagher.
“I really fancied her. She was late coming back in due to the virus, and I ran her over fences, but she was disappointing. She was second in this race last year, so I said we’d have a shot at this. I thought the owners would be back (allowed access to the track), which would have been great as they are local, but it worked out anyway.
“She’s in again on Wednesday at Wexford but I don’t know will we run her. We’ll chance her again over fences, maybe the last day’s experience will stand to her.
John McConnell’s Go Another One brought a touch of class to the day’s proceedings, winning the Thank You To Our Frontline Staff From Cork Racecourse Hurdle in great style.
The eight-year-old, having his first run for almost five months and running over hurdles for the first time since finishing fifth in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at the Punchestown festival of 2019, went clear with more than a circuit remaining and, under a well-judged ride by Ben Harvey, was unchallenged thereafter.
“He’s back to himself,” said assistant trainer Mark Kavanagh. “He was well in on the ratings, we thought, and it was just nice to transfer that to the track, and Ben gave him a great ride. I must be a lucky charm because I’ve brought him to the races for all his wins, in Ireland and England.
“That’s ten wins now. John’s good at cherry-picking races and he picked this race for him and was confident. There could be a big race in him and the option of going back over fences is always there for him.”
Arthur’s Baby, winner of a mares’ maiden at Kildorrery in 2019, made a winning handicap debut in the second division of the mares’ hurdle. Running off a mark of 86, she was backed from 33-1 into 9-2 on the eve of the race and justified that heavy support with a facile success. Mark McNiff’s mare coasted into contention in the straight and when Phillip Enright asked her to win her race she lengthened right away.
Denis O’Regan produced Pour Sioux with a well-timed run to take the Corkracecourse.ie Mares’ Maiden Hurdle for Hilary McLoughlin, denying Floating Around in a good finish.
Diamond Kut made all the running to take the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle for James Nash and Hugh Morgan. Odds-on favourite Fest Deiz held every chance when coming down three out.
“He’s a horse with an enormous number of problems – he’s had just a couple of runs in three years,” said Nash. “Hopefully, it’s the start, and that he might be able to go on and win something else now.”
Knock On Steel, a winner over fences at Killarney in early July but beaten over hurdles next time, earned a second career victory over the smaller obstacles when taking the Fermoy Handicap Hurdle for Brian Jordan. Sean O’Keeffe’s horse jumped well when most needed and that proved key as he kept on nicely to keep Broder at bay.
Geraldo justified odds-on favouritism in the Dromahane Bumper. Jamie Codd brought Gordon Elliott’s runner with a strong run down the far side to lead inside the final furlong. He looks a nice prospect to go jumping with.