Duhallow (F) Kanturk at Dromahane on Sunday 18th March.
On an afternoon that saw snow on the ground, Pat Doyle recorded his second success of the weekend in the Goffs UK Aintree Sale four-year-old maiden by saddling Appreciate It to land the spoil in the hands of Derek O’Connor. The Ballinaboola debut third Appreciate It disputed the running with Some Detail until newcomer Catch The Swallows moved through to hit the front two out. Catch The Swallows then made the best of his way home from this penultimate obstacle as Appreciate It gave chase. Catch The Swallows however blundered at the last, losing valuable momentum. Appreciate It landed the faster, he led soon after this final fence and then quickened clear to dismiss the likeable Catch The Swallows by one and a half lengths. “We think the world of him and the race just wouldn’t have been run to suit him today, “said Doyle, also on the mark with Axiomatic at Ballynoe, of his wife Mary’s Appreciate It. By Jeremy, Appreciate It is a half-brother to Danny Kirwan whom the aforementioned Doyle saddled to oblige in a Lisronagh maiden point in October before being sold to Paul Nicholls for whom he has already won a competitive Kempton bumper.
On a bleak afternoon for the bookmaking fraternity, Oscar Contender supplemented last month’s Punchestown maiden success by justifying favouritism in the hands of Jamie Codd in the Winners of one. The Harry Kelly-trained Oscar Contender could be called the most likely winner some way out and he eventually hit the front before two out. He was clearly getting the better of the argument with runner-up Trio For Rio when blundering at the final fence. It didn’t make the slightest difference as the triumphant seven-year-old ultimately obliged by six lengths. This was a victory that however was tinged with sadness as Oscar Contender’s Co Carlow-based owner Mary Walsh’s husband Noel died just four days after the gelding’s success at Punchestown last month. “He was a bit unlucky last season, but he is getting a rub of the green now, “said Kelly. “We will probably mix it between points and hunter chases now and he might well go for the maiden hunters chase at Cork on Easter Monday. “
John Barry, who steered Macs Legend to success in the older horses maiden at Ballynoe the previous afternoon, partnered two winners with the Conna native instigating his brace aboard John Nallen’s hugely-exciting newcomer Minella Indo in the Goffs UK Aintree Sale five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Minella Indo arrived with a tall reputation and was well-supported beforehand. The winning son of Beat Hollow disputed the running with Big Debates until edging ahead from two out. Big Debates was already coming off second best when Minella Indo blundered at the final fence. It’s to Minella Indo’s credit that he then asserted to put six lengths between himself and Big Debates, who finished second to subsequent dual bumper scorer Felix Desjy on his only previous start at this same fixture 12 months ago. “He’s one that you would be dreaming about and he’s probably as good a horse as we have had, “said Clonmel hotelier Nallen of Minella Indo, a half-brother to last week’s Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase third Benatar, whom he purchased for €24, 000 as a foal.
John Barry completed his two-timer aboard the Vincent Halley-trained newcomer Blue Morpho in the Cork Racecourse, Mallow six-year-old-upwards geldings’ maiden. The giant-sized Blue Morpho, representing his trainer’s mother Pam, eased through to join issue with Puthiminyourpocket on the outer from two out. Blue Morpho had just taken a fractional advantage when Puthiminyourpocket sustained a crashing final fence fall and the son of Robin Des Champs then accounted for another first-timer in Colonel Keating by 10 lengths. “He’s a giant of a horse that is over 17 hands, “said Halley of Blue Morpho. “It’s a bonus to win today as we thought that he wasn’t fit enough and we would have been happy to finish in the first three. We might go to track with him now for a chase. “
Liz Lalor, whose mother Anne bred Minella Indo, teamed up with Sam Curling to win the Singletons SuperValu, Holyhill Ladies Open aboard B L Swagger. The odds-on shot B L Swagger, who won an open at his same venue in November 2015, was always merely in cruise control and he effortlessly hit the front just after the final fence to beat former Joseph O’Reilly Memorial Hunters Chase winner Drawn N Drank by six lengths. “He’s a brilliant horse, but he wasn’t quite right in the autumn. He has been running away though at home lately, “said Curling of the Tessa Foreman-owned B L Swagger, who was recording a seventh points success.
18-year-old Cal Shine from Banteer, who is studying for his Leaving Cert at Kanturk’s Colaiste Treasa, partnered his fourth career winner aboard Louis Archdeacon’s mare Kitty Russell in the Hickeys Tavern five-year-old-upwards adjacent maiden for novice riders. Kitty Russell, absent since pulling up three out on the final day of the autumn campaign at Boulta in mid-December, made most of the running and she had just been joined by favourite My First Symphony when Paddy Cronin’s charge fell at the final fence. Kitty Russell then returned with one and a half lengths over Linemason.
“She’s a tough mare and it’s great to win, the plan now is that she will run in winners races, “said Archdeacon of his wife Michelle’s six-year-old Kitty Russell.
Report | Dromahane 18th Mar 18
"“We think the world of him and the race just wouldn’t have been run to suit him today”"
Duhallow (F) Kanturk at Dromahane on Sunday 18th March.