Evanna McCutcheon has built up a tremendous rapport with her own horse Long Strand of late and the pair recorded their fifth success of the season in the open lightweight at the North Kerry Harriers point-to-point fixture outside Ballybunion on Saturday.
Long Strand (2/1) was held up in rear as Rebel Chief and then American World cut out the running in this five-runner event. Long Strand went to the front before the fourth last and with the uneasy favourite Backstage coming under pressure before two out, the winning son of Saddlers’ Hall duly fought off Gordon Elliot’s charge by a length.
Long Strand is trained by David Nagle, he of Maarek fame. The Co Tipperary-based handler said: “It takes a good horse to win an open, never mind to win five and we now go to Kinsale next week.”
The Aidan Fitzgerald-trained newcomer Shanendou (4/1 – 5/2), owned by Mrs Philomena Crampton and running in the silks made famous by her brother Paddy Kehoe’s mare Grabel (trained by Paddy Mullins), created a hugely favourable impression in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.
The Turtle Island-sired Shanendou stylishly made her way to the front for Roger Quinlan before the final fence to beat the vastly more experienced Snatch Back by two lengths. Shanendou will now more than likely be offered at the Brightwells sale at Cheltenham this coming Wednesday. Similarly bound for the popular Gloucestershire venue is Primo Capitano, who arrived late and fast to oblige in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
The Paurick O’Connor-trained Primo Capitano (4/1) vindicated the promise of his fourth-placed debut effort at Dromahane in mid-March by storming to the fore with Colman Sweeney in the shadow of the post to triumph by a neck.
Less than a length covered the first four home in the second instalment of this same contest with John O’Shaughnessy’s Print Shiraz (9/2), a third-last fence faller on his initial outing in Knockanrawley’s maiden at Bartlemy the previous Sunday, leading in the dying strides for Mikey O’Connor to beat Mark Molloy’s well-supported newcomer Countrywide Ger by a neck.
Bartlemy form also played a big part in the six-year-old geldings’ maidenas the Aidan Fogarty-trained Premier Portrait (5/1) went one better than he did behind Classic Jewel at the east Cork venue six days earlier by jumping impeccably for Barry O’Neill to dismiss Bashful Beauty by three lengths.
The Michael Winters-trained Winters Dreame (9/2) destroyed the opposition with Ciaran Fennessy in the six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden. There was only going to be one outcome once Winters Dreame, a respectable third on her previous start at Killaloe in February, took up the running before the second last with five lengths the ultimate winning margin over Barnagrotty Girl.
The grey Croghill Tuppence (4/1) returned from in excess of a five-month break to capture the closing seven-year-old and upwards maiden, a race that he finished fifth in 12 months ago. On this occasion, Joe Moran’s Croghill Tuppence jumped into the lead at the fourth last. With 20-year-old Tom Bennett sitting tight when Croghill Tuppence erred at the final fence, the winning son of Great Palm duly fought-off Follow The Moon by a half-length.
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