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Report | Quakerstown Sun 1st Apr 18

""He’s a horse we could have been sold a few times but he’s been a wonderful servant over the years.”"

A large crowd enjoyed the wide range of amenities on offer to all ages on a cold day which saw the Co. Clare hunt marking the achievements of local rider Derek O’Connor in the Irish Gold Cup by making a presentation to him in the parade ring during the day.

There was a hugely popular local success in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing & Howleys Gort ladies open for the Costello family, who received a rapturous reception with most of the family on hand to greet Final Gift back into the winners enclosure. Trained by John Costello and owned by his mother Josphine, Final Gift dominated from flag fall and jumped well throughout. The 12-year-old son of Old Vic battled well against a younger opponent in B L Swagger to score by one-length at the line providing Sheila Ahern with her initial success of the campaign.

“We’ve kept the horse specifically to give my youngest son Conor some experience riding in point-to-points. That will be his next mission in a couple of weeks," divulged Costello of Final Gift, who has recorded a total of six victories between the flags and two on the track.

"He’s a horse we could have been sold a few times but he’s been a wonderful servant over the years.”

Roisin Hickey sent out her own newcomer Champagne Platinum to record a very likable success in the hands of Roger Quinlan to take the opening Goffs UK Aintree Sale four-year-old maiden. When asked to go about his job before the bypassed last, Champagne Platinum showed a nice turn of foot to reel in long time leader and only other finisher Zihuatanejo to extend a winning margin of six-lengths.

The good looking grey gelding follows in the footsteps of dual Grade one Cheltenham Festival winner Champagne Fever, who won this race seven years ago for husband/wife team of Roisin Hickey and Thomand O'Mara.

Also by Stowaway and out of a Roselier mare, Champagne Platinum was bought as a store by O'Mara who commented, “This is a very good horse that stuck at it well today. It’s great that he got that out of the way. He’ll be sold now I’d imagine. ” The winner is a half-brother to four times winner The Chazer and dual scorer Lismakeery.

The O'Mara/Hickey team were denied a quick double when Champagne Court went down by five-lengths to the Terence O'Brien-trained It's For Alan in the Sullivans Hotel Gort, Kerry Co-Op & Finnertys Bar five-year-old geldings' maiden in the colours of Alan Wright. The son of Multiplex, who had shown some early promise when fifth in Dromahane last spring, produced a career best effort here to oblige for connections at the fifth time of asking and could be called the winner from some way out.

Winning trainer Terence O’Brien was absent as he was on duty at Cork, but winning jockey Pat Collins, who gave the horse a fine front-running ride, stated that the horse had just taken some time to come hand and will most likely go to the track next.

A field of ten lined up for the ITBA, The Turkey Trotters & Pier Head Bar & Restaurant five-and-six-year-old mares’ maiden where debutant Printing Dollars faired best for owner/trainer/breeder Edmond Kent. The Eoin O'Brien-ridden daughter of Doyen settled nicely just off the pace and travelled very smoothly to score by one-and-a-half lengths over the more experienced Whatsdastory.

“We’ve always liked this mare, she has a good pedigree, her granddam is a half-sister to Denman," said Kent of Printing Dollar, who is now for sale. "Eoin gave her a peach, as he dropped her in and she’ll have learned plenty from it.”

The Gort Co-Op Mart, P & N Casey Bookmakers, Dinny Gould Bookmakers & O'Neill Bookmakers six-year-old-and-upwards geldings' maiden went the way of Gotaway for the absent Robert Tyner, also on duty at Cork . The son of Getaway returned to the pointing fields when posted a solid third-place finish at Bandon in February following an unsuccessful campaign between the rails. The homebred son of Getaway runs in the colours of the handler’s wife Mary, who was on hand to welcome back into the winner’s enclosure. 

“He had a lovely run back pointing in Bandon last time. It’s great to get a winner under this horse’s belt as we have few options with him now," divulged Mary Tyner. "We’ll enjoy today before deciding what to do with him next.” 
The Hassett Considene Solicitors five-year-old-and-upwards confined maiden provided another popular local success as the Noel Glynn trained and owned Mabeywhoknowsmabey sealed victory at the last where he outjumped Getaway Honey to run out a six-length winner on the line under local jockey Eoin Mahon. 

“It’s great that the horse has got his head in front. Eoin knows him well and gave him a smashing ride today. We’ll either look for a winners’ race or go for a maiden hurdle next," reported Glynn.

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