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Report | Aghabullogue 13th January 2019

The Colin Motherway-trained Theflickeringlight impressed by making a victorious career debut in the opening Dave Dennehy & Family five and six-year-old mares’ maiden under Luke Murphy.

The daughter of Flemensfirth was always well positioned and she moved through to join issue with last month's Ballindenisk runner-up Monty's Mission from six-out. The eventual winner edged into a narrow advantage two-out and she asserted at the last to beat Monty's Mission by three and a half lengths.

"We fancied her coming here as her work was very good at home. She jumps for fun and, if not sold, she will probably go for a maiden hurdle," said Motherway of Theflickeringlight, owned by Aileen Walsh from Youghal and homebred by her father Jerry Russell (Davy's father).

Derek O'Connor, fresh from guiding Nicky Henderson's Ok Corral to victory in the listed novice chase at Warwick the previous afternoon, had an afternoon to savour as he won on all three of his mounts. The Galwegian got off the mark by steering Philip Dempsey's Presentandcounting to an emphatic all-the-way success in the 10- runner Goffs UK January P2P Sale five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Absent since finishing third around Punchestown last February, the five-year-old was soon positioned at the head of affairs and he made the rest of the running. This son of Presenting gave an assured round of fencing and he held a 25-length advantage from half-way. He readily maintained the tempo to account for dead-heaters' De Hollow Man and Not Fou Sale by 12 lengths.

In the absence of handler Dempsey, owner Denis Cusack said: “He's a great jumper and the plan was to go off in front. We were pretty confident coming here."

Ucello Conti owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede made a victorious points debut in the hands of Derek O'Connor in the Brookfield Leisure Centre open.

The 11-year-old, who was still well placed when unseating four-out on his previous start in last season's Aintree Grand National, shadowed long-time leader Wilcosdiana on the descent from two-out.

The eventual winner edged ahead well before the final fence and he then held on tenaciously to account for fellow seasonal debutant Sydney Paget by a half-length.

O'Connor said of his mount: "I'd say that he's a horse that's not yet fully fit and all his enthusiasm is still there. He could be a [Cheltenham] Foxhunters horse if he gets qualified in time."

The concluding Dan Donovan & Co Ltd six-year-old upwards geldings’ maiden - Derek O'Connor brought up his hat-trick by filling in for Eoin O'Brien, who sustained a fall from Bandon Bridge in the open, by returning to the coveted number one slot aboard the Kevin O'Sullivan-trained Mister Murchan.

A more than creditable third to Walk Away on his penultimate foray at Ballindenisk last month, Mister Murchan was the only winner on the six-race card to benefit from waiting tactics.

The winning son of Westerner eased into contention three-out and he swept to the head of affairs well before the final fence to score by eight lengths from Vital Sign in the colours of Fermoy-based owner Annabel Archdeacon.

"We were disappointed with him when he pulled up at Dromahane two weeks ago, but we just rode him too close to the pace that day," said Ballyhooley-based handler O'Sullivan, also on the mark with Darius Des Sources at Templencarriga the previous Sunday.

The W & M Kiely Ltd six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden saw owner/trainer Tom Keating's Shuil Luas go one better than she did on her previous start at Corbeagh House last month.

Both the winner and the runner-up Airgead Suas disputed the running virtually throughout, until the former went to the front from two-out. The winning daughter of Brian Boru held a narrow advantage under Rob James at the last before going on to win by three and a half lengths.

Keating, greeting a third winner of the season, said: "She's a very tough mare, it was great to win with her and she will now go for a winners’ race."

Declan Queally cemented his position at the head of the handlers' championship by greeting his 12th winner of the season when Springfield Fox turned the All Plast Engineering Ltd Winner Of One into a procession.

With Queally sitting out the weekend action on account of a minor leg injury, Roger Quinlan was called upon to partner last month's impressive Boulta maiden winner Springfield Fox.

The victorious six-year-old, owned by John Needham from Shropshire, took up the running at the ninth fence and he powered clear from two-out to slam Papal Present by 20 lengths.

"We will leave him progress in points and, if we still have him, he could go for a point-to-point bumper later on," said the Waterford handler.


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