The Sam Curling-trained B L Swagger lit up yesterday’s well-attended Killeagh Harriers point-to-point fixture at Knockane by annihilating the opposition in a fiercely-competitive renewal of the open lightweight.
B L Swagger (7/2), ultra-impressive when scoring on his return at Dromahane in November, was held up well off the pace and he was still last setting out on the final circuit.
B L Swagger however made smooth progress on the descent from three out and he eased to the front before the second last.
It was all plain sailing from here as the victorious eight-year-old bounded clear to beat admirable veteran Glenwood Knight by six lengths with a 10-length break back to the third-placed Dog Barrel Hill.
Patrick Mullins experienced little joy on his initial sojourn to the Cork circuit for he pulled up favourite Marasonnien, trained by his father Willie, before the second last in this race.
Curling, who tends to B L Swagger for Mrs Tessa Foreman from Ballingarry in north Co Tipperary, disclosed: “This horse ideally wants plenty of time between his races and we will probably run him in another open now before going for a hunters chase.”
B L Swagger’s rider Derek O’Connor, having partnered three winners at Templenacarriga the previous afternoon, departed with two winners and the reigning champion was earlier on the mark aboard the Pierce Power-trained newcomer Mr Brinkley (5/1) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Mr Brinkley, a half-brother to Roberto Goldback, always took the eye in running and the 2014 Derby sale graduate assumed command before the second last en-route to beating the well-supported favourite Carrigmoorna Matt by one and a half lengths.
Power, who operates from Hook Head in south Co Wexford, revealed that the Scorpion-sired Mr Brinkley will now be offered at the Tattersalls Ireland sale at Cheltenham next month.
Ciaran Fennessy recorded his initial success for Ray Hurley aboard Kadmer (5/1) in the closing six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.
Kadmer, a runner-up at Curraheen last May, set sail for home after the fifth last and he stormed clear approaching the final fence to dispose of market leader Braxton Hicks by five lengths.
Kadmer is owned and bred by long-standing points supporter Barry O’Driscoll, current secretary of the Cork and Waterford point-to-point association.
There was drama in the opening five-year-old mares’ maiden as Miss Eyecatcher, trained by Roger McGrath, seemed to be travelling best of all at the head of affairs when cruelly falling at the second last.
Aidan ‘Scobie’ Fitzgerald’s Kool Lady (6/1), a fine fourth against the geldings’ on her debut at Tinahely in October, was then left in the lead and she held on grimly for the stylish Richie Deegan to eclipse Janes Boutique by a length.
Miss Eyecatcher’s rider Declan Queally certainly hadn’t the best of afternoons for Thegirlfrommilan, whom he trains, appeared to be holding Goodthynemilan (5/4 – evens) when falling at the last in the six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden for novice riders.
The favourite Goodthynemilan, owned and trained by Denis Ahern, was then left clear to beat the only other finisher Thats My Goal by a distance in the hands of Johnny Hurley.
Cappagh-based Paul Kiely was credited with his initial training success of the season when the hooded Inchiquin High (6/1), owned by his father Richard and partnered by his elder brother Richie, returned to the coveted number one slot in the mares’ winners of two.
Inchiquin High stayed on dourly from two out to deny Flights Of Fantasy by a length and the triumphant seven-year-old is now likely to be prepared for a track campaign.
Hurley’s Supervalu 5-Y-O Mares’ Maiden of €1, 000. 3 Miles
1) O Whelan’s Kool Lady
b m (Brian Boru – Sarogini) 11-10 Mr R Deegan
2) The Boutique Partnership’s Janes Boutique
11-10 Mr D O’Connor
3) G J O’Keeffe’s Marienstar
11-10 Mr R P Quinlan
13 ran. 1L, 10L, 5L. (Winner trained by Aidan Fitzgerald)
Tattersalls & Pegus 5-Y-O Geldings’ Maiden of €1, 000. 3 Miles
1) Ms A Gardner’s Mr Brinkley
b g (Scorpion – Mandysway) 12-1 Mr D O’Connor
2) Old Fools Partnership’s Carrigmoorna Matt
12-1 Mr C W Fennessy
3) M F Cleary’s Dark Mahler
12-1 Mr R Deegan
12 ran. 1 1/2L, 3 1/2L, 5L. (Winner trained by Pierce Michael Power)
Gain Horse Feeds Mares’ Winners Of Two of €1, 200. 3 Miles
1) R Kiely’s Inchiquin High
b m (Mountain High – Inchiquin Supreme) 7-12-1 Mr R J Kiely
2) Ms A O’Hanlon & L MacMahon’s Flights Of Fantasy
7-12-1 Mr D O’Connor
3) Mrs M O’Connell’s Michealamaystar
7-12-1 Mr E P O’Brien
10 ran. 1L, 25L, 3/4L. (Winner trained by Paul Stephen Kiely)
Kennedys Bar Novice Riders 6-Y-O & Upwards Mares’ Maiden of €1, 000. 3 Miles
1) D Ahern’s Goodthynemilan b
m (Milan – Calling Classy) 6-11-10 Mr J Hurley
2) G Kelleher’s Thats My Goal
8-11-10 Mr J J O’Connor
9 ran. Dist. Only 2 Horses Finished. (Winner trained by Denis Ahern)
Fogarty Bros Car Sales Open Lightweight of €1, 000. 3 Miles
1) Mrs T Foreman’s B L Swagger
b g (Saddlers’ Hall – Designer Lady) 8-12-1 Mr D O’Connor
2) P G Ryan’s Glenwood Knight
13-12-1 Mr D Murphy
3) J D Dullea’s Dog Barrel Hill
12-12-1 Mr D L Queally
13 ran. 6L, 10L, 3L. (Winner trained by Sam Curling)
Flavins Footwear 6-Y-O & Upwards Geldings’ Maiden of €1, 000. 3 Miles
1) B O’Driscoll’s Kadmer
b g (Kadeed – Cherry Stripe) 7-12-1 Mr C W Fennessy
2) P Mannion’s Braxton Hicks
6-12-1 Mr D O’Connor
3) J O’Connor’s Ben Arthur
6-12-1 Mr E P O’Brien
11 ran. 5L, 6L, Hd. (Winner trained by Raymond Hurley)
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