Duhallow (F) at Liscarroll on Sunday 25th March.
On an afternoon that saw a terrific crowd in attendance to welcome the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, this race attracted four runners with the quartet all being newcomers. Pat Doyle, also on the mark with Commander Of Fleet in the four-year-old maiden at Moig South the previous afternoon, supplied the winner in the form of the Walter Connors-owned Egality Mans in the Goffs UK Aintree Sale four-year-old maiden.
The Network-sired Egality Mans never really gave his supporters any undue concern apart from being very slow at the second fence and he disputed the running from half-way. The winning French-bred went for home four out and he was joined by main market-rival Rock On Rocco from the third last. Indeed, Rock On Rocco touched down in front two out. The eventual winner however asserted with Derek O’Connor from this penultimate obstacle and he was left to come home on his own when Rock On Rocco, who was in the region of 10 lengths adrift, was pulled up before the final fence. “He’s a grand smart horse that has really come to himself over the past three weeks and I said to Walter (Connors) back in January that he was very nice, “said Doyle of Egality Mans, a half-brother to Willie Mullins’ five-time winner and Grade 2-placed hurdler Coquin Mans .
Ciaran Fennessy partnered his initial winner since sustaining a serious pelvical injury in a fall at Rathcannon in October 2016 by steering Fermoy-based owner/trainer/breeder Dinny Fitzgerald’s newcomer Lisnagar Oscar to a clear-cut success in the Farm First Insurance five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Lisnagar Oscar, whose dam is an own-sister to this season’s Newbury Hennesy Gold Cup runner-up Whisper, was restrained at the rear of the field until commencing his move on the descent to three out. Lisnagar Oscar and Iconic Hero moved through to dispute the running on the approach to the second last. The winning son of Oscar was clearly in command from this penultimate obstacle and he drew clear before the last to account for the staying-on Shanacoole Prince by eight lengths. “He did it well and he wouldn’t have been mad about the ground, “said long-standing point’s supporter Fitzgerald, who was virtually mobbed by well-wishers afterwards. “Ciaran gave him some drive and we will have a chat about where we go from here with him now.“
The Jack Bennett-trained Wetbehindtheears, absent since finishing a fortunate second at Boulta in mid-December, benefited from a well-judged waiting ride from Ray Barron to win going away in the Topline Burtons, Kanturk five-year-old mares’ maiden. Wetbehindtheears, having a fourth career start, threaded her way through from mid-division to join Another Theatre on the run to two out. Wetbehindtheears led away from this second last fence and she asserted before the last to beat Another Theatre by 12 lengths in the colours of her trainer’s father Syd. Handler Bennett, who recalled winning a maiden with Floral Fantasy at this same meeting in 2015, remarked: ”All going well, we will go for a winner’s race with this mare and we will see where we stand then. “
Declan Queally brought up the opening leg of a two-timer by steering ex-track performer Abbazagga, whom he also trains, to a comprehensive front-running success in the Sygma Automation Winner Of One. The hooded Abbazagga, who finished second on his comeback run at Belharbour last month, gave a superb display of fencing at the head of affairs and held an unassailable advantage from after three out as he maintained the tempo to ultimately account for Baily Fox by 21 lengths. “This is a quick horse and I must thank his owner Dermot Kiely from Lemybrien for being so patient with him, “commented Queally of Abbazagga. “He even got a drop in his foot after finishing second at Belharbour last month and the plan hopefully is that he will now go for the hunter chase at Tramore next month “
The Tom Keating-owned/trained Rollercoster stepped up from her second-placed return effort at Belharbour last month by justifying favouritism in the hands of Liam Quinlan in the Collins Bros, Garage Liscarroll six-year-old mares’ maiden. Rollercoster disputed the running from half-way until edging ahead with three fences remaining. With runner-up Vivalino threading water from two out, Rollercoster stuck doggedly to her task to account for Paul McEnery’s charge by a distance.“She’s a grand, honest staying mare, “was Keating’s post-race comment of Rollercoster, a half-sister to Henry Oliver’s four-time British track winning mare Sparkling River.
Declan Queally brought up his two-timer by returning to the coveted number one slot aboard the Debbie Hartnett-trained Trapper in the Exors of The Late Dr. R.J Sheehy six-year-old-and-upwards geldings’ maiden. Trapper, having failed to complete the course on his three previous forays, returned from a mid-season break and he made all the running. He took command from two out to dismiss Could Be Better by 12 lengths in the silks of UK-domiciled owner Edmond Murphy.“We quietly fancied him as he was in great form and we knew that the left-handed track would suit him, “divulged Ms Hartnett of Trapper.
Report | Liscarroll 25th Mar 18
"“This is a quick horse and I must thank his owner Dermot Kiely from Lemybrien for being so patient with him”"
Duhallow (F) at Liscarroll on Sunday 25th March.