In a race in which all nine runners were newcomers, the Denis Hogan-trained grey Moskovite came from off the pace to provide rider Paul Cawley with a initial points success of the season in the Hurleys Supervalu, Midleton five-year-old mares’ maiden.
Moskovite, who had only rival behind her setting out on the final circuit, made smooth progress before three out and she stylishly swept to the front with two fences remaining. The winning daughter of Flemensfirth, a half-sister to her handler and Co Mayo-based owner/breeder Robert Hennelly’s recent Punchestown bumper winner Moyhenna, then drew clear to account for Killisk Ben Rose by four lengths.
In the absence of both Hogan and Hennelly, the latter’s son Walter remarked: “Denis has done a great job with Moskovite and the plan is that she will now go to the Cheltenham sales next month. “
Donnchadh Doyle seems to have a potentially useful sort on his hands in Phoenix Way, who impressed by recording a scintillating debut success in the Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Phoenix Way, a €15,000 graduate of the 2016 Goffs Land Rover sale that traces back to Commander Collins, always travelled with purpose for Rob James towards the head of affairs and he struck for home after the third last. It was soon plainly apparent that the Monbeg Syndicate-owned son of Stowaway was containing runner-up Daario Naharis as he scorched clear to oblige by 12 lengths with a two-length break back to the third-placed Speedy Cargo.
“He’s a smart horse that does everything very nicely and he jumped very well out there, “said Doyle of Phoenix Way, who was quickly added to next week’s Goffs UK sale at Doncaster on Tuesday January 23rd.
The Jimmy Mangan-trained Murdo Mackenzie seems assured of a good season if his gallant success with Eoin O’Brien in the Fogarty Bros. Car Sales, Killeagh Open is anything to go by. Murdo Mackenzie, who trailed home fifth behind My Murphy at Templencarriga two weeks earlier, was always well positioned and he went second behind former Cheltenham festival winner Lac Fontana at the second last.
Murdo Mackenzie took the measure of Lac Fontana at the final fence and he then asserted to beat the ex-Paul Nicholls horse, having an initial points start for Paurick O’Connor, by one and a half lengths. The winner’s stable companion Winter Magic made an excellent return to the fray by securing the minor honours, an additional three lengths adrift.
“I fancied him at Templencarriga, but he stumbled badly going down the hill there and Jamie Codd looked after him then, “reported Mangan of Murdo Mackenzie, owned and bred by long-standing points supporter Patrick O’Driscoll. “He will now go for a maiden hunters chase, wherever one pops up. “
In a race that saw two fences bypassed, 20-year-old Tiernan Roche from Tomhaggard partnered an initial winner of the season and his third in total aboard the John Martin Walsh-trained grey Illtellmema in the Gain Horse Feeds six-year-old-and-upwards mares’ maiden for novice riders.
Runner-up on her previous start at Borris House in December, Illtellmema and Berboru had the race to themselves from six out. Berboru had just moved through to challenge when a horrendous third-last fence blunder severely compromised her chances. Illtellmema then held a slender advantage over the second last and she got on top in the closing stages to dismiss the likeable Berboru by three lengths.
Illtellmema, an own-sister to Ronnie O’Leary’s three-time hurdles winner Queeny that Duncormack-based Walsh likewise started off in points, is owned by the Forge Syndicate from Bannow.
The Sam Curling-trained Longhouse Music provided Derek O’Connor with the opening leg of a two-timer by coming home as she pleased in the Flavins Footwear, Youghal Mares Winner Of Two . Longhouse Music was content to bide her time towards the rear until edging closer from four out. The winning nine-year-old hit the front before two out and she asserted after this penultimate obstacle to beat main market-rival Bloodstream by five lengths.
Handler Curling remarked of the John Duggan-owned/bred Longhouse Music: “She’s a mare that has disappointed on the track and I didn’t think that she would handle the ground today. She will be kept to points. “
Ciaran Fennessy, side-lined since sustaining a serious pelvic injury in a fall from Lively Article at Rathcannon in October 2016, returned to the fray in this race by finishing fourth aboard the Norman Lee-trained Cloudy Day.
Derek O’Connor completed his two-timer by bringing the Denis Ahern-trained favourite Ballydun Oscar from well off the pace to win going away at the finish in the Kennedys Bar, Killeagh and Pegus Horse Feed six-year-old-and-upwards maiden.
Ballydun Oscar, having finished a fine fifth on his initial outing at Lisronagh in late-October, eased into contention on the descent from three out and he mastered the admirably consistent Troll D’Oudairies coming to the last to oblige by a comprehensive three lengths.
“Derek [O’Connor] is a genius and he is a big help to any trainer, he schooled this horse on Wednesday morning for us and said that he would ride him here, “said Dungourney-based Ahern. “My sister Clare Curran, who lives in Galway, is a member of the Clondun Partnership that own this fellow and he will probably now go to the sales."
Ballydun Oscar, homebred by his handler’s brother Conor, is a half-brother to The Dawn Man, whom Ahern sent out to win a Liscarroll maiden point last season.