Derek O’Connor dominated yesterday’s Bruff point-to-point fixture at Rathcannon, the first Munster meeting of the season incidentally, by partnering three winners.
The Galwegian brought up his hat-trick aboard the 2012 Irish Grand National runner-up Out Now in the six-runner open.
Having an initial outing for John Gleeson who actually trains out of the gelding’s owner Nelius Hayes’ Knockainey Stud, Out Now (7/4) tracked the frontrunning Becuaseicouldntsee until Charlie Swift went past briefly on the run to two out.
Out Now though led away from this penultimate obstacle and the former dual track winner forged clear from the final of the 12 obstacles to beat the gallant Becauseicouldntsee by two lengths. Total Excitement meanwhile secured the minor honours, a further 10 lengths adrift.
“You can’t beat class,” said Gleeson. “I think I have Out Now back to his best and he’s entered in the sales at Doncaster next month.”
The 10-time champion was earlier on the mark aboard newcomer Maberry (evens – 4/6) in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
An initial runner of the campaign for handler Robert Tyner, the white-faced five-year-old Maberry made smooth progress on the long run from three out.
Maberry responded to her partner’s urgings to hit the front at the final fence en-route to obliging by four lengths in the colours of Steven Cassidy.
O’Connor’s remaining success came aboard uneasy favourite The Chuckmeister (4/5 – 6/4) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
The Chuckmeister, a creditable fourth on the final of his two forays at Dawstown last term, went to the front after the second last and he then showed a nice turn of foot to dismiss Mystical Knight by two and a half lengths with a nine length break to the third-placed In The Tub. The Chuckmeister is trained by John Berry who also sent out Give Us A Hand to win the open at this same fixture 12 months ago.
O’Connor was extremely unlucky not to depart with four winners for his mount in the four-year-old maiden, the Pat Doyle-trained newcomer Indy Five had just taken up the running between horses and was clearly travelling best when falling at the final fence. Kieran Purcell’s Loughrea runner-up Battle Of Clontarf (3/1) was then left in front with Paul Power to beat Grayhawk by two lengths. This certainly was a most eventful race for the third-placed Letter Exit was badly hampered at the final fence whilst Hiberno was still lying a close fourth when falling two out.
Ciaran Fennessy will seldom ride an easier winner than he did aboard ex-handicap hurdler Asithappens (6/1) in the concluding six-year-old and upwards maiden.
Owner/trainer Liam Casey’s Asithappens, an eyecatching third in a two and a half mile Cork handicap hurdle in August of last year, always travelled ominously well and he blitzed clear from two out to dispose of the promising Bach To Before by 10 lengths.
Uppertown Society (11/8), trained by the absent Donnchadh Doyle for Billy Yorke, landed a thrilling winners of two. The only mare in the six-runner field, Uppertown Society overtook the frontrunning Ourson at the second last and she then gamely fended off veteran Stand Sure by a neck in the hands of Rob James.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved