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Report | Cragmore 10th February 2019

Barry O’Neill continues to maintain his advantage at the head of the leading riders table, with a double on the day bringing his tally for the season to 29.

Cool Dove got the Wexford rider off the mark when taking the PJ Dore & Co Ltd five-year-old mares’ maiden.

The daughter of Flemensfirth is out of a half-sister to Thunder and Roses and was making her debut here in the colours of Youghal-based owner Maurice Mariga.

The home-bred was given a positive ride before coming home a length-and-a-half in front of Seangoell who filled the runners-up position.

Winning handler Colin Bowe eluded that this imposing sort will now be offered for sale.

Fellow Wexford handler Sean Doyle provided O’Neill with his second winner of the afternoon in the Powers Solicitors, Kilmallock five-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard Offtheshoulder.

The son of Gold Well is owned by the Monbeg Partnership and was one of three horses on the afternoon to get off the mark at the first time of asking.

The €30,000 Derby sale graduate was never too far away from the pace and went on to overcome the attentions of the well-supported favourite Oscar Robertson by a length.

“This is a gorgeous big horse. He was ready in the autumn but the ground was just too quick. He’ll head to the sales now,” said the successful handler who has enjoyed great success with Gold Well’s progeny in the past, in particular with subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Holywell.  

Cormac Farrell looks to have a smart prospect on his hands in the form of Wide Receiver who showed a very smart turn of foot to take the Tattersalls Ireland four-year-old maiden.

Ridden by Simon Cavanagh, the result never looked in doubt for this son of Sholokhov, who comprehensively defeated the Colin Bowe-trained Premiumaccess by an easy eight lengths.

The debutant was purchased for €25,000 at the Derby Sale and was running in the colours of owner Edgar Allen.

The Wexford handler indicated the gelding will now be sold and said: “We were disappointed that there were only five runners as we think this fella is the real deal. I think he is going to be a very high-class horse. I’m delighted for Edgar who’s been a lucky owner with us.”

Derek O’Connor has fond memories of Cragmore, having previously partnered his 1000th winner between the flags at the course, and the Galway native didn’t leave empty handed as Detatched scored in the concluding Stonehall Harriers Hunt & Kerry Agri six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

Sporting the colours of the Traveling Light Syndicate, the son of Beneficial was sent off as the favourite on this occasion, having finished third on his debut at Aghabullogue in January.

The seven-year-old overcame a slow jump at the final fence to beat the previously placed Vertical Pebble by two lengths.

“This horse had a little setback last year and was off for a while. He was ready to run at the end of the season but we didn’t want to risk him on quick ground. He’ll go for a winners’ race now,” said handler Robert Tyner. 

The Fitsignage Shanagolden winner of two saw Declan Queally saddled his 16th winner of the season when Givemylovetorose came home 15 lengths clear of the field.

Having finished second the previous weekend at Ballyvodock, the six-year-old turned out again quickly to bring her tally to three for the season.

Given a positive ride by Queally himself, the daughter of Westerner eased clear inside the final half-mile to see-off Toomebridge four-year-old winner Golden Nomad, who was having his first start since that success on the opening day of the season.

The successful Eileen O’Mahony-owned mare is now likely to contest a winners of three, before being aimed at in the Gain Mares Final at Ballynoe.

Roger Quinlan has enjoyed a fine season to date and Don’t Say A Thing provided the Tipperary rider with his ninth winner of the campaign in the High Design Askeaton six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

Trained by the riders’ main employer Andrew Slattery, the daughter of Doyen was taking her maiden at the second time of asking having come to grief when still in contention at Bellindenisk back in the autumn.

The six-year-old showed a game attitude in the closing stages on this occasion, ultimately getting the better off Natural Fit by just three quarters of a length at the line.

“It was a long way out but we felt this mare was going to win at Ballindenisk on her debut. She’s a very well-bred mare and Roger (Quinlan) liked her a lot today. She will go for a winners’ race now,” said Slattery of the six-year-old who is owned and bred by Patrick Kelly from Rathcabbin.

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