The Autumn Point to Point programme in the South East came to its conclusion at the Tipperary Foxhound meeting at Lisronagh.
Racing over lands owned by the Clonmel Showgrounds the track seems to favour well balanced horses who can cope with the tight bends and reasonably stiff fences.
The smallest field on the day saw five horses face the starter in the Kirbys Pharmacy and Pat Doyle Racing Mares Open Lightweight. This however did not detract one iota from the quality of the race with a really close finish seeing Isourbell get her head in front after five seconds in a row under Sheila Ahern.
Trained in Conna, Co Cork by her owner Sean Aherne, the 11 year old Executive Perk mare was winning for the fifth time in her career between the flags.
Sheila Ahern from Ballyduff in Co Waterford must take many of the plaudits for this win as the 26 year old set the pace from the front, jumping superbly she and Isourbell held the late challenge of Givemeabuzz to win by a length. Sheila is no relation to the winning owner/trainer but she works full time in his yard in Conna where Sean has 12 horses in training using sand and hill gallops.
Racing opened with the 4 year old Maiden sponsored by Brightwells Bloodstock. Here only 14 of the original entry of 36 were declared with victory going to the Denis Murphy-trained Royal Chief. This grey son of Royal Anthem had good previous form to his credit and was giving Murphy his very first win at Lisronagh after all these years.
This race was pretty eventful as the winner did well to evade a loose horse on more than one occasion to win by half a length under a powerful ride by Jamie Codd.
The winning Co Wexford trainer stated -“He is getting stronger for every run. He has broken our duck here, he is entitled to be better”
Racing concluded with a very local win in the Hotel Minella 7 and 8 year old maiden with Killenaule trainer Martin Hassett winning with Chestnut Friar. This 8 year old Anshan mare had shown a glimmer of form at Cregg under Mikey O’Connor when second and built on it here with Barry O’Neill giving an exhibition of front running tactics. With only Kevin Power and Remarkable Man to keep her company, O’Neill ran out comfortable winner on the day.
Charles Maguire has only the one horse in training at his Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath base and he now has a 100% strike rate following the victory of Winnie Cooper in the Kenilworth House and Clonmel Show 5 and 6 year old mares maiden.
This 6 year old Beneficial mare was in the leading three horses all the way and following the exit of Barnagrotty Girl, Fiord Cottage and finally Katcha Kopek she won in the hands of PJ O’Neill. From a really old jumping family including L’Escargot, Maguire who rides the mare out himself indicated that “we will wait till the New Year to run again”.
Gamut stands as a stallion at Sunnyhill Stud in Co Kildare for Michael Hickey and he introduced a nice 5 year old by him here in the shape of debutante Final Pass. Ridden by Co Dublin based Jamie Flynn in the Athassel House Stud 5 year old geldings maiden, the horse was kept in the rear as the lead changed hands up front to come through and win.
Hickey declared he “couldn’t be happier, I need to find a customer for him. He was backward but he did that well”.
The 6 year old geldings maiden sponsored by Castlebridge Consignment was divided with the two tightest victories on the day. Jeanette O’Riordan sent out Abbeyview, a 6 year old by Misternando to win, ridden stylishly by Fermoy, Co Cork native Brian Linehan.
Riordan who has five horses in training at Rathcormac, indicated afterwards that “the owners are in the USA on holiday, they go to all his schooling and missed this. We will go for a winners after this”.
The second divide went to Kells, Co Kilkenny with Charles Persse training his first winner in four years when Kellslodge, a 6 year old by Masterful won. Named after his own home he was really well handled by Pat Harris to win in a tight finish by a short head.
Harris from Carrick on Suir and who rides out for John Nallen, schooled this horse for Persse and handled the quirky character with aplomb. Persse indicated afterwards that the horse “was only broken as a 5 year old and should improve and is now for sale”.
(Report from www.talkinhorses.ie)