Yesterday’s United Hunt Club’s point-to-point fixture at Bartlemy brought new meaning to the phrase marathon for there were no less than 11 races with proceedings concluding at 6.15pm, following a 1pm start.
It may well happen that the best horse on display during the afternoon was Didntitellya who won a vintage first division of the four-year-old maiden.
Eoin Doyle’s Didntitellya, who really caught the eye despite pulling up on his debut at Dromahane last month, was sent off at 8/1 as Paul Cashman’s newcomer Present Flight was supported from 2/1 into evens.
Didntitellya always travelled with purpose and he stylishly moved through to overtake runner-up Hot Whiskey N Ice on the run to the final fence, a length the winning margin. Present Flight, beaten from two out, returned a further three lengths adrift in third spot.
“This fellow jumped very well and he came on a lot from his debut at Dromahane last month. I bought him last year and he will probably now go to the Brightwells sales at Cheltenham next week,” said Doyle of the Presenting-sired Didntitellya.
Doyle and Didntitellya’s rider Pat Collins completed a brace courtesy of Georgie Lad (7/2) in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Georgie Lad, owned by Doyle’s mother Pauline but in whom former Kilkenny hurling captain Willie O’Connor also holds an interest, led from the second last and he pulled clear in the closing stages to beat the well-supported newcomer Stellar Notion by one and a half lengths.
Collins however endured a premature end to the afternoon for the Castlemartyr native sustained a kick to the stomach in a second-fence fall from Kilcullen Article in the winners of one, a race that saw Cork Citizen (7/1) vindicate the promise of his excellent third-placed effort behind Dr Patmassini at Dromahane earlier this month.
Cork Citizen made his way to the front with his handler Eugene O’Sullivan’s daughter Maxine before the third last and the victorious five-year-old pulled out more from the final fence to beat Strideout Euro by a neck in a race that saw a little over two lengths covering the first four home. Cork Citizen is now likely to receive a slight break before coming back for the Galway festival.
Youghal handler Seamie Harte, who won a Killeagh maiden point with subsequent Kilbeggan maiden hurdle winner Seskinane in January, kept his supporters happy by saddling What A Joke (10/1) to triumph with Richie Kiely in the first division of the closing six-year-old and upwards maiden.
What A Joke, a fine third on his penultimate foray at Inch, led from before the third last and the Liam Murphy-owned bay threw a fabulous leap at the final fence which partly enabled him to dismiss the long-absent Jack Overbury by one and half lengths.
The meeting really belonged to Eoin O’Brien, the Mitchelstown native recording his second career three-timer and he signed off aboard Ronan Curran’s Classic Jewel (6/1) in the second split of the six-year-old and upwards maiden.
The recent Dromahane fourth Classic Jewel bravely made his way back to the front in the shadow of the post to defeat favourite Premier Portrait by a head in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.
Premier Portrait’s handler Aidan Fogarty supplied the north Corkonian with his initial success courtesy of Knockanrawley (5/1) in the third division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Having led or disputed virtually throughout, the grey-coloured Knockanrawley, owned and bred by Fogarty’s father Joe of Kilfeacle Stud outside Cashel, asserted on the run to the final fence to dispose of Rock Me Zippo.
O’Brien also combined with former professional jockey Adrian O’Shea, originally a Lisgoold native, to collect the confined hunt maiden with Shine A Diamond (8/1).
Having pulled up on his debut at Ballindenisk seven days earlier, the five-year-old Shine A Diamond was witnessed in a considerably better light here for he made virtually all to slam Golden Crisp by an emphatic ten lengths in the colours of O’Shea’s father-in-law Maurice O’Sullivan from Lisgoold.
There were also doubles for Larry Murphy and Barry O’Neill. Ballybrowney Ella (10/1), a third winner of the season for Rathcormac-based handler Jonathan Sweeney, instigated Murphy’s brace by arriving late and fast to collar recent Dawstown runner-up Moon Over Monaloo in the five-year-old mares’ maiden.
Ballybrowney Ella, owned by Pat Pyne and bred by his daughter Lisa, is now likely to receive a break.
Murphy doubled up aboard James Dullea’s recent eyecatching Dromahane third Red Or White (4/1) in the second division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Red Or white, representing the absent Catriona O’Donovan from Bandon, mastered the vastly more-experienced Mr Mercurial at the final fence to oblige by a length.
On a torrid afternoon for punters, Barry O’Neill’s initial winner of the afternoon Master Dee proved to be only successful market-leader when readily justifying evens favouritism in the second part of the four-year-old maiden.
Master Dee, runner-up on his Ballysteen debut last month, incidentally sports the silks of his Gorey-based breeder Ben Kavanagh and a trip to Brightwells sales at Cheltenham next week is now on the agenda for the winning son of King’s Theatre.
It was also Master Dee’s handler Colin Bowe that supplied O’Neill with his remaining winner Mountain Cliche (6/1) in the third division of the six-year-old and upwards maiden. The recent Toomebridge third Mountain Cliche, owned by Bowe’s wife Fiona, overcame a slightly awkward moment at the final fence to defeat The Jackdaw Roost.
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