For many, it was a case of the best wine being reserved until last at yesterday’s well-attended Lisgoold point-to-point fixture that was staged at Templenacarriga for Follow The Swallow readily put his rivals to the sword in the closing 18-runner seven-year-old and upwards maiden.
Despite pulling up on his two previous career starts, Follow The Swallow (12/1) always travelled with purpose for Pat Collins on the inner and the winning bay went for his race from three out. He stylishly asserted on the incline from two out and he eventually returned with three lengths to spare over Royal Haslar with an eight-length break to the third-placed The Black Dog.
“This horse worked very well during the week and he will go for a winners race now, provided that he’s not sold,” said Follow The Swallow’s Kilmeadon-based owner/trainer Denis Hayes, who bought the victorious son of Dr Massini at the 2012 Fairyhouse August sale .
Royal Haslar’s rider Declan Queally still totally dominated the fixture for he partnered three winners, all for different handlers. With Queally’s elder brother Tom in attendance, the Cappagh amateur opened his account aboard Millyrembrandt (4/1) in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
On an excellent afternoon for frontrunners, Millyrembrandt, who was placed on five previous occasions, made virtually all the running. Whilst harried by runner-up Kilty Caul from the penultimate of the 14 obstacles, the close relation to Sir Rembrandt still asserted on the run to the final fence to oblige by a length with the duo being the only finishers. Owner/trainer/breeder Don Kenneally from Ballyduff Upper is now likely to aim Millyrembrandt at a winners race.
Queally then joined forces with Jimmy Mangan to collect the confined hunt maiden with Doctor Braveheart (9/2. Running with the aid of cheekpieces, Doctor Braveheart led away from the two out and he effortlessly pulled clear on the run to the final fence to see off Hawkers Son by five lengths. Doctor Braveheart is owned by the Barney Syndicate that incidentally includes Mangan’s locally-based Conna parish priest Fr Billy O’Donovan.
Gullivar (8/1) brought up Queally’s hat-trick in the winners of two. The towering Gullivar, trained by Inistioge-based John Clifford for owner/breeder Michael Rafter, was always well positioned and he went back to the front after two out to repel the unexposed Queer Times by a half-length in what was the closest finish of the day. Queally was however brought before the stewards after this race. He was found guilty of using his whip with excessive force on Gullivar and was duly suspended for one raceday – January 11th.
Robert Tyner, on the mark with two winners at Naas, sent out Wade Harper (9/4) to collect the opening five-year-old geldings’ maiden in the hands of Derek O’Connor. Last month’s Boulta third Wade Harper led from the third fence. The winning own-brother to Warren Greatrex’s Cole Harden was already in command when throwing a fine jump at the final fence and he duly defeated Consharon Boy by a length. The likelihood is that Wade Harper, sporting the silks of the six-member Rebel Time Syndicate, will now be sold.
Kevin Power made his only mount of the day a successful one by landing the six-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard Sounds Of Italy (7/4), whom Denis Prendergast trains for Lisgoold native Terry Ryan.
Sounds Of Italy showed the necessary improvement from debut effort at Boulta in late-November by making most and forging clear on the run to the final fence to dismiss Some Finish by two and a half lengths in likeable fashion.
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