Killinick (H) at Lingstown on Sunday 19th November 2017.
Donnchadh Doyle sent out his initial winner of the season when Darsi In The Park vindicated some previous promise by landing the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham & Ascot Sales four-year-old maiden. Darsi In The Park, who was set to finish third but for unseating at the final fence behind Rath An Iuir on his return to action at Loughrea last month, was always well positioned with Rob James. The winning son of Darsi went to the front before two out and he found for pressure on the descent to the final fence to beat a trio of newcomers headed by odds-on favourite Captain Drake by three lengths in the familiar Monbeg Syndicate silks. Doyle remarked of Darsi In The Park, an €11, 000 graduate from part two of the 2016 Derby sale: “He was unlucky to fall a few days, but he’s a grand straightforward horse and he will now go to the sales at Cheltenham next month”.
Barry O’Neill initiated the opening leg of a two-timer by steering In Arrears to a convincing front running success in the Wright Group Brokers Ltd five-year-old mares maiden. On what was her ninth career start, In Arrears gave a superb display of fencing. The winning daughter of Beneficial went to the front after a mile and, although headed before two out, she readily reassumed command before the final fence to beat Garry Murphy’s mount Native Way by six lengths. “We got her back checked after she finished second in Dowth Hall last month and it has certainly helped,” said Bowe of In Arrears, owned and bred by James Bolger from Marshallstown from outside Enniscorthy. “She will go for a mares’ winners’ race now.”
Barry O’Neill partnered his very first winner for Willie Murphy by bringing Johnny Sue from last to first to win with consummate ease in the Kilmore Potatoes Ltd & Cooney Furlong Grain Ltd Winners Of Two. Johnny Sue, a wide-margin Rathcannon maiden winner last month that then fell two out at Loughbrickland behind Burning Ambition, was still last with two fences remaining. The reigning champion refused to panic and Johnny Sue swept through on the inner to lead approaching the final fence en-route to beating Screaming Colours by two lengths. “He’s a nice horse and I actually think he is very good. He will turn up somewhere on the racetrack over Christmas, “said owner/trainer Murphy of Johnny Sue in whom Donie O’Toole from Tullow also holds an interest.
Jamie Codd instigated the opening leg of a two-timer aboard the Mag Mullins-trained newcomer I Am Sailing in the Kilkenny River Court Hotel five-year-old geldings’ maiden but it was undoubtedly achieved in extremely fortuitous circumstances. This is so as long-time leader Irish Apollo, returning from in excess of a year lay-off, was still bowling along merrily in front and holding a six-length advantage when cruelly sustaining a fatal final-fence fall. I am Sailing was then left clear to dispose of last season’s Ballindenisk runner-up Brascoe by a reducing two lengths. “He’s a huge big chaser that I own with Peter Magnier and Tom Furlong,” reported Ms Mullins. “He will come on a tonne and we will now go for a two and a half mile bumper, either over Christmas or early in the New Year.”
Codd completed his two-timer aboard the Jim Dreaper-trained Venitien De Mai in the Keating Horse Transport Open over the Banks Course who was having an initial start over the banks. Venitien De Mai, who finished third behind A Decent Excuse on his comeback run at Loughrea on October 15th, was always positioned in the first couple and he got the better of the gallant Better B Quick approaching the final fence to oblige by eight lengths in the colours of the late Alan Potts. “This is magic,” exclaimed Dreaper’s son Tom of Venitien De Mai, a 135-rated chaser that finished a fine fifth in last year’s Troytown Chase at Navan. “This horse took a heavy fall last season and the plan then was that this horse and Sizing Coal would both the cross-country and hunter chase route this season. Sizing Coal was third in the cross-country race at Punchestown today and one of them may now go for the cross-country race at Cheltenham next month with the other maybe going for the Down Royal hunter’s chase.”
Ex-track performer Johns Choice made a triumphant point’s debut by winning the somewhat grief-stricken Inish Pebble Company Ltd six-year-old-and-upwards maiden in the hands of James Walsh. Johns Choice, who finished fifth in a two mile three furlong handicap hurdle at Limerick last Christmas, certainly had his task lessened when fractional leader Rainbows At Dawn fell two out and Keel Over had just moved alongside the eventual winner when exiting at the final fence. The winning son of Stowaway was then left clear to beat the mare Lilymae by 12 lengths. “James [Walsh] rides out for me and I will let him tell me what to do next, “said Cloneygall-based owner/trainer Simon Kenny of Johns Choice.
STAR PERFORMANCE: Darsi In The Park had shown promise in two previous non-completions, and he backed that up with a comfortable victory.
VIDEOGRAPHER: Lar Sutton