In front of his local home crowd, Mikey O’Connor dominated yesterday’s marathon 10-race point-to-point fixture at Liscarroll by partnering no less than five winners.
The former southern regional champion will have been particularly buoyed by his success aboard Fromthetop (6/4 – 5/4) in the winners of two for the victorious six-year-old is trained by his twin-sister Elaine Palmer.
Fromthetop, successful in a Kilworth winners contest on his previous start on March 4th, took up the running at the second last with the Gus O’Mahony-owned bay then keeping market rival Aerdkilly Witness at bay to score by a length. “This horse only ever wins by as much as he has to and we will probably go for a bumper with him now,” reported O’Connor.
The 30-year-old then joined forces with Pat O’Connor to collect the first division of the six-year-old geldings’ maiden with Ring Ben, who disappointed when pulling up on heavy ground conditions at Tralee the previous Sunday. Ring Ben (3/1 – 5/2), owned by Kilworth publican Michael O’Brien, was witnessed in a totally different light for he stormed to the front shortly after the final fence to beat Carli King by a half-length.
Winner number three for O’Connor came courtesy of the Tom Cooper-trained Scotias Glen (5/4) in the first division of the five-year-old mares’ maiden. Scotias Glen, an eyecatching fifth on her debut at Dromahane two weeks earlier, took up the running at the second last and she dug deep on the flat to contain the promising Pops Well by a half-length.
The Liscarroll amateur won both divisions of the six and seven-year-old mares’ maiden with Carrig’N May and Vixen Belle respectively. In the first instalment, Carrig’N May (evens), trained by Tom Barry who also started off the recent Cheltenham festival winner Teaforthree in points two years ago, led from two out to beat Persian Hill by eight lengths in the colours of Mary Turner. Kilavullen-based Barry later paid tribute to his 16-year-old daughter Niamh for riding out Carrig’N May.
Terence Leonard’s homebred Vixen Belle (5/2) went one better than she did on her previous start at Tallow last month by storming clear from two out to see-off the grey Expectant by six lengths in the second split of this same contest.
Sam Curling’s newcomer First To Boogie was a desperately unlucky loser in the two and a half mile four-year-old maiden for John Barry’s mount was all of six lengths clear and travelling best of all when overjumping and cruelly coming to grief at the final fence. Roisin Hickey’s McIlhatton (3/1) was then left in front with Johnny Ryan, but the recent Kilworth third was joined literally on the line by Denis Murphy’s newcomer Hannibal The Great (7/1) with the judge awarding a dead-heat.
Hannibal The Great’s rider Declan Queally recorded a two-timer for the Cappagh amateur was also on the mark with Denis Ahern’s Next Sensation (3/1) in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Next Sensation, a fine third to Captain Canada on his return to action at Killeagh in January, eased to the front after the second last to defeat Definite Dream by 12 lengths in the silks of Ahern’s first-cousin Aoife Hickey and the 2010 Goffs Land Rover sale graduate is now likely to be offered at Brightwells’ Cheltenham sale on April 18th.
It was a red-letter afternoon for 22-year-old Newcastlewest amateur Anthony Bustin who registered his initial career success aboard John O’Shaughnessy’s Wyndcrest (10/1) in the second split of this same contest. The Dermot O’Mahony-owned Wyndcrest, who showed promise earlier in the season, went to the front at the second last to dismiss Next Sensation’s stable companion My Boy Connor.
Damian Murphy got on the scoresheet by steering Merramar (7/1), a half-sister to her handler Jimmy Mangan’s top hunter chaser Oscar Delta, to a convincing success in the second split of the five-year-old mares’ maiden whilst John Nallen’s ex-track performer Minella For Value (4/5) is now bound for the Pegus bumper at Cork on Easter Monday following his ridiculously-easy victory with ‘Corky’ Carroll in the second heat of the six-year-old geldings’ maiden.
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