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Tralee | 26th May 18

"“He’s a grand big chasing type, an out and out chaser really. He stays well and I’d expect that there should be a lot of improvement in him.”"

The absent Donnchadh Doyle initiated the opening leg of a two-timer in the first division of the LMC Contracts - (Liam McCarthy) four-year-old maiden courtesy of Silent Assistant, who made a triumphant career debut in the hands of James Walsh.

This certainly was a dramatic contest as newcomer Punitive ran out through the inner wing of the last when trying to challenge and Carolines Charm was still holding a fractional advantage when falling at this same final fence. The Sans Frontieres-sired Silent Assistant, who held every chance at the time, avoided the mayhem and he then stormed clear on the flat to contain Loughrea runner-up Barrowlands by five lengths in the familiar Monbeg Syndicate silks. Silent Assistant, a €24, 000 graduate of last year’s Goffs Land Rover sale that hails from the same family as Hansel Rag, is now likely to be offered for sale.

The Eric McNamara-trained Black Centaur initiated the opening leg of a three-timer for John Barry by recording a clear-cut debut success in the first division of the Fexco five-year-old geldings maiden. The winning son of Oscar made smooth progress from the rear of mid-division from our out to pick up the running after the second last. Black Centaur then strode clear to account for Blue Monday by seven lengths. “He’s a grand big chasing type, an out and out chaser really. He stays well and I’d expect that there should be a lot of improvement in him, “said McNamara of the Deirdre English-owned Black Centaur, already a brother to four track winners.

The French-bred First Lord De Cuet completed the Donnchadh Doyle brace by returning to the coveted number one slot with Rob James in the second division of the LMC Contracts - (Liam McCarthy) four-year-old maiden. The newcomer Not So Simple seized the initiative by going to the front with two fences remaining. The winning grey, a son of Lord Du Sud, was alive to the move and he had just moved to the front when erring at the final fence. Not So Simple then fought back, but in what was the closest finish of the afternoon, the close relation to Madison Du Berlais held on grimly to oblige by a head. In the absence of handler Doyle, who was at Portush, his brother Sean reported:”Both of Donnchadh’s winners are two grand straightforward types that will now go to the sales. Fair play to Tralee for having the track in perfect condition for today. “

Minella For Value has been a terrific servant for the Queally family over the past couple of seasons and the veteran supplemented his recent Killarney hunters chase success by landing a truly-run renewal of the Bon Secours Hospital, Tralee Open . Minella For Value was bounced out in front by his handler Declan Queally and he had runner-up Cavite Beta as his closest pursuer throughout. Whilst having to be briefly rousted along before two out, Minella For Value was clearly in command on the run to the final fence and he duly triumphed by five lengths. “He’s thriving on his racing and the plan now is that he will go to Listowel for the hunters chase next month, “said Queally of his mother Bernie’s Minella For Value, who was incidentally posting a fourth points success of the campaign.

The in-form Barry recorded a second success of the afternoon by returning to the coveted number one slot aboard Crossley Tender in the second division of the Fexco five-year-old geldings maiden, who was still leading when falling three out at Dawstown three weeks earlier. Crossley Tender, also a runner-up at Aghabullogue back in January, eased his way into contention on the long run to the third last and a fast jump took him to the front two out. The winning British-bred was always marginally on top thereafter, three parts of a length separating him from runner-up Track Mac. Owner/trainer Gerry Kelleher’s brother Mikey, himself a former amateur rider, said of Crossley Tender:”Up until today, he was probably the unluckiest horse that we have had. We’re delighted to get the win with him, he has class and he’s a good ground-horse that will probably go to the track now. “

Debbie Hartnett generally fares well with her small string and the Donoughmore-based handler was on the mark with Coillte Eile in the first division of the Lee Strand & VisionBuilt.com (Gerard McCarthy) five-year-old-upwards mares’ maiden, who made a most satisfactory debut by finishing third at Dawstown almost three weeks earlier. The patiently-ridden Coillte Eile eased closer with Chris O’Donovan from three out and she took the measure of long-time leader Sopat on the flat to oblige by three parts of a length.
“I’m delighted for her owner Michael Twomey from Aghbaullogue, who is a fabulous owner, “reported Ms Hartnett. “We also won a Dromahane point with Coillte Lass for Michael two years ago and this is a tough, honest mare that is probably more of a bumper or hurdling type. “

Michael Hourigan, who enjoyed many big-race wins at the now-defunct Tralee racecourse, sent out his wife Anne’s Old Head to capture the second division of the Lee Strand & VisionBuilt.com (Gerard McCarthy) five-year-old-upwards mares’ maiden in the hands of talented five lb claimer Eoin Mahon. On what was her fourth career start, Old Head surged past market-leader Havana River on the approach to the final fence to score by a widening three lengths. “She was somewhat unlucky to fall in Liscarroll and then the ground was bottomless when she ran in the mares’ point-to-point bumper at Cork over Easter, “reported Hourigan of Old Head, in whom Sean Lucey and Tom Curtin also hold an interest. “She’s a nice mare and we will go to the track with her now. “

The Paul Cashman-trained Ask Robin, runner-up behind subsequent Leopardstown maiden hurdle winner Dicey O’Reilly on his career debut at Knockanard last term, benefited from a supremely-confident waiting ride from Michael O’Sullivan to win the Feales Bridge Co-op & Berkie Browne six-year-old geldings’ maiden for novice riders on his return from a near five-month break. Ask Robin arrived to lead literally pulling double under a motionless O’Sullivan before the final fence and he then bounded clear to dismiss Coach Road by three lengths. “He’s a horse that things have not really panned out for, but he has always had loads of ability, “reported Cashman of his mother Catherine’s Ask Robin. “Michael [O’Sullivan] gave him a superb ride as he often had to rein him back and he’s a horse that will probably go to Britain now. “

John Barry completed his hat-trick aboard Norman Lee’s Cloudy Day in the Kerry Group Mares Winner Of Three who was registering her third success of the season. Cloudy Day, although having to be pushed along briefly before three out, readily took up the running before the turn into the home straight and she stylishly asserted on the approach to the final fence to account for seasonal debutant Bollmann Lady by six lengths.
“She’s a tough mare that ideally wants soft ground. She will receive a break now with a view to going to the track in the autumn and she will be a lovely mare to breed from eventually, “reported Lee of Cloudy Day, owned by Sarah Hogan from Castletroy. In the normal course of events, Cloudy Day would have been ridden by Roger Quinlan who didn’t ride for the remainder of the afternoon after sustaining a fall from Carolines Charm in the first division of the four-year-old maiden.

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