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Report | Loughbrickland 27th October 2018

For the second year in succession, leading mare Sliabh Mhuire Lass was turned over at short odds in the A One Tyres mares’ open.

12 months ago, the chestnut Grandera mare was forced to pull-up in the testing conditions, however whilst the ground was a lot quicker for the 2018 renewal, she was unable to supplement her impressive Loughrea victory earlier in the month, as she was soundly beaten by Bloodstream.

The six-year-old had already accounted for the favourite when they met at Belclare in March, and John Murphy’s daughter of Scorpion backed that up with an eight-length victory in the hands of his son Luke.

“We thought she would need the run as it looked a tough race but Luke said she was never better,” said the winning handler.

“She is a straightforward mare and enjoys her racing.  We will keep her pointing in mares’ opens and see how things are going in the spring and then maybe go for a hunter chase.”

Favourite backers recouped some of their losses 30 minutes later in the Wilsons Auctions older geldings’ maiden, as Hi Murphy cruised to victory thanks to a super-cool ride by Noel McParlan, which saw them defeat Pegase Amour by a neck.

Bred by owner Peter Murphy, the Gamut gelding was entitled to comfortably win this four-runner contest on his run against younger horses at Louganmore in May, and the father and son team of Sean and Noel McParlan, will be hoping he can progress upwards from it, with McParlan senior indicating that they would now go for a winner of one race.

Donnchadh Doyle is certainly ensuring that his trips across the border are worthwhile this season, as he moved to the head of the handler’s table following a fifth success of the campaign when Winged Leader claimed the opening Dennison Commercials four-year-old geldings’ maiden.

A €24,000 purchase from the Goffs Land Rover sale, the Monbeg Syndicate-owned gelding left some disappointing efforts behind him to return to the promise of his Dromahane debut and defeat the newcomer Old Jewry by six lengths.

“He had a lovely run first time out but we couldn’t really get him back to the same form.  He travelled well and really jumped his way into the race.  He could have another run in winner’s company before heading to the sales,” said the winning rider.

Whilst Doyle has dominated the four-year-old maiden’s on northern cards this season, Colin McKeever is beginning to do the same with the five-year-old geldings’ maiden’s in the region, as having saddled a winner in that age group at Portrush seven days earlier, he sent out to win the Dennison JCB-sponsored race on Saturday’s card with Chosen Mate.

The brown gelding had failed to make an impact on his debut in the race won by the now three-time track winner Push The Tempo at Punchestown in February, and the quicker conditions certainly brought about considerable improvement, as he became the third winner to emerge from that race with his five-length victory over No Hidden Charges.

Carrying the colours of his handler, Chosen Mate was providing winning rider Derek O’Connor with a fourth success of the season.

“He was sore after his run in Punchestown so we took our time with him as he was only broken as a four-year-old,” said McKeever.

“Derek (O’Connor) got off him there and said he had a good blow and should win a winners’ race.  If not sold he will run again in points.”

For the second year in a row, Johnny Sue made a winning reappearance, this time success came in the Conduit at Tullyraine House Stud winners of two contest.

Returning from an unsuccessful four-run spell under rules, the Pa King-ridden seven-year-old quickly picked up where he had left off with his Lingstown success 11 months ago to defeat School Lane by eight lengths for his owner-handler Willie Murphy.

“He’s a very good horse but for some reason it just hasn’t happened for him on the track.  He will stay pointing for the time being and could maybe go for a hunter chase,” said the Carlow-based handler.

Harry Kelly looks to have his string in top form, as six days after his Tipperary yard were among the winner at Tinahely, he saddled his newcomer Whatcolourishe, to win the McIldowies Solicitors mares’ maiden by a length over Le Hachette with talented five-pound claimer Paul Cawley guiding the winner home.

A half-sister to track performers Frankie Figg and Forgotten Gold, the Ask mare is from a family that Kelly knows well, having saddled her siblings Taggle Og and Babytaggle to win on the same Bandon card back in February 2017.

He indicated that his second winner of the campaign would now be sold.

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