Following an enforced 20-day break due to the inclement weather conditions, point-to-point racing returned to the Cork and Waterford region on Saturday as the rescheduled Tallow meeting (run under the auspices of the West Waterford Foxhounds) took place at Shanakill Cross outside Conna.
Many of those present left adamant that they had witnessed the debut of a potential top-notch performer in Monbeg Gold for Sean Thomas Doyle’s charge destroyed the opposition in the opening four-year-old maiden.
The Gold Well-sired Monbeg Gold (4/1) was bounced out smartly by Barry O’Neill with the victorious bay disputing the running with Apache Park until edging ahead from half-way. Monbeg Gold was quite simply superb at his fences and he effortlessly stormed clear from the penultimate of the 15 obstacles to beat Helen O’Connor’s eyecatching filly Special Princess by ten lengths.
“This horse is an aeroplane and has always worked very well at home. I’d imagine that he will probably be sold now,” said Ballindaggin, Co Wexford-based handler Doyle.
The 13 bookmakers present experienced a real result when Paul Patrick Moloney’s Lonesome Glory (12/1) floored odds-on shot Oscar Delta in the open lightweight. Lonesome Glory, sporting the familiar Whyso Mayo silks of Mrs Kathleen O’Driscoll, was sent to the front by Ciaran Fennessy at the fourth last. Oscar Delta had to be briefly rousted along by Jane Mangan on the approach to three out and, whilst closing somewhat on the lengthy run-in from the final fence, he was still some eight lengths adrift at the line. Clonakilty-based handler Moloney is now toying with the idea of aiming the nine-year-old Lonesome Glory at a hunters chase.
Oscar Delta’s handler Jimmy Mangan, also the meeting’s landowner, didn’t leave empty-handed for he sent out Jenmarie (4/1) to collect the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden. Patiently ridden, the Joe Power-owned Jenmarie arrived full of running to overtake long-time leader Agirlfromknockraha on the run to the final fence and the latter was still lying second when falling here. It was newcomer Whatdoesthefoxsay that then occupied the runner-up, four lengths adrift of the winning six-year-old.
Jenmarie’s rider Derek O’Connor partnered two winners, the Galwegian doubling up aboard Ballyduff Upper-based handler Benny Daunt’s seasonal debutant Sharp Rise (7/2) in the closing six and seven-year-old geldings’ maiden. Sharp Rise, representing Daunt’s sister Gillian Powell, eased past Cooladerry King a furlong out to oblige by seven lengths in the style of a likely park winner.
Declan Queally similarly departed with a brace and he got off the mark aboard Louis Archdeacon’s Winged Express (7/1 -6/1) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Winged Express, shared by Archdeacon’s wife Michelle with Roisin Sherrard from Clondrohid, stylishly made his way past Asian Fitz inside the final 100 yards to score by one and a half lengths. It’s worth recalling that the triumphant son of Winged Love is closely related to former Cheltenham festival winning mare Heltornic.
Aglish-based handler Roger McGrath’s five-year-old Derrintogher Bliss (4/1) completed Queally’s two-timer in the confined hunt maiden. In a driving three-way finish, the previously twice-raced Derrintogher Bliss assumed command inside the final 50 yards to beat dead-heaters’ Another Discovery and Fiddlers Bow by one and a half lengths in the colours of joint-owners’ John Connery and Con O’Connor.
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