On an afternoon that saw a minute’s silence held before racing for the meeting’s landowner Pats Moore who died the previous Saturday, the Colin Bowe-trained newcomer Shadow Rider set many pulses racing by coming home at his leisure in the Coolagowan Stud & AIB, Fermoy four-year-old maiden Shadow Rider, who sported the colours of Walter Connors that were similarly carried to success by subsequent £400,000 Cheltenham sales acquisition Envoi Allen (likewise trained by Bowe) at Ballinaboola two weeks earlier.
The winning son of Martaline overtook long-time leader Eleazar Des Neiges on the run to the final fence to score by a widening six lengths from odds-on favourite Full Time Score.
“He won with a bit left in the tank. He’s still a bit green and he will probably now go to the Cheltenham sales,” said Bowe of Shadow Rider, an own-brother to Gordon Elliot’s Squouateur that finished third in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
The Talty Man, trained by Eleanor Broderick who is also the landowner of the Ballyarthur point-to-point course outside Fermoy, returned to a rapturous reception on winning the Glenview Stud & McCarthy Insurance Group five-year-old-and-upwards adjacent maiden by gamely making all the running in the hands of Darragh Allen.
The Talty Man, who showed promise by finishing seventh in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden at this same meeting last season, responded generously by asserting from the last to dispose of the mare Potters Vision by seven lengths in the colours of Pat White.
“He was sick when he pulled up at Templencarriga after Christmas," disclosed Ms Broderick of The Talty Man. “The plan now is that he will go for the winner’s race at Lismore next month and then the hunters chase at Cork over Easter.”
Norman Lee seems to have a potentially useful sort on his hands in the form of Johnnys Girl, who recorded a taking debut success in the Gain Horse Feeds & The Avondhu Bar six-year-old-and-upwards mares’ maiden. Johnnys Girl, a physically imposing daughter of Flemensfirth, edged into a narrow advantage with James Hannon from two out and she stylishly asserted from the final fence to see off Baile Boru by two lengths.
“She’s a mare that was only broken last year as a five-year-old and she will now go for a bumper in a few weeks, “commented Lee of Johnnys Girl, owned by John McDonnell from Co Roscommon.
Our Henrietta sprung a mild surprise by providing her handler Liam Kenny’s 19-year-old son James with a third career success in the Riordans SuperValu & Auto Dismantlers mares’ winner of one. Our Henrietta, victorious at Killeagh last season, led until overtaken by Cee Jay McBride after four out.
The winning daughter of Winged Love, representing long-standing point’s supporter Joe Whelan, was back in front before two out. A potent threat soon emerged in the form of Cloudy Day, but the odds-on shot didn’t find as much as expected on the steep ascent from this penultimate obstacle as Our Henrietta stayed on stoutly in the closing stages to oblige by three lengths.
Handler Mark Cahill and rider Eoin O’Brien, successful in this same race 12 months ago with subsequent Leopardstown maiden hurdle winner Dicey O’reilly, combined to record a popular success courtesy of Atlantic Shore in the Rathbarry Stud & Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
The Mahler-sired Atlantic Shore finished second on his career debut behind the impressive Dickie Diver at Templencarriga on New Year’s Eve. Atlantic Shore moved past runner-up Speedy Cargo three out and he valiantly maintained the momentum from the final fence to contain Kieran Purcell’s charge by one and a half lengths.
“Atlantic Shore is a grand horse and my late father Tom trained his grandam Letterlee to win the Thyestes Chase (in 1998),“ reported owner/trainer Cahill of Atlantic Shore, in whom Mike Neville also holds an involvement. “He comes from a family that improve with time and he will probably now go to the sales."
Vetoncall became the second winner throughout the course of the afternoon to win for a father/son combination as he was steered to victory by Derek McGrath for his father David in the Grange Stud, Coolmore & Shinnicks Bar six-year-old-and-upwards geldings’ maiden for novice riders.
Vetoncall, who finished second to subsequent British novice hurdle winner Rosmuc Relay at Boulta before Christmas, overtook Glorious Boru on the ascent from two out. Whilst running around on negotiating the final bend before the last, Vetoncall still fought off Glorious Boru by five lengths.