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Report | Kildorrery 24th February 2019

The opening division of the Gain Feeds and the Vaughan Family five and six-year-old mares’ maiden saw the gambled on Arthur's Baby take victory for owner/handler Mark McNiff.

Supported from 8/1 all the way down to 4/5 favourite and she always took the eye in running on the inner under Johnny Barry, who sent the towering daughter of Oscar through to challenge four-out. The five-year-old made the best of her way home from before the third last to beat newcomer Emily Roebling by two lengths.

"My horses were just not quite right for a while and I think that she will come on for the run. She's a mare that wants soft ground and she will now go for a bumper," said McNiff of his 2017 August sale purchase who is a half-sister to Grade 3 novice hurdle winner Tavern Times.

The second division  of the mares’ maiden saw Michael O'Sullivan, who only turned 19 on Thursday February 21st, record the first leg of an initial career three-timer.

The Lombardstown native steered his uncle Eugene O'Sullivan's Getaway Totherock to success here.

The mare had finished runner-up on her previous start at Templenacarriga last month and overcame some jumping errors in the initial stages of the race by edging closer from four-out.

The winning six-year-old mastered Ulterior Motives on the flat to oblige by a half-length in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.

"Things didn't really go right for her when she finished second in Templenacarriga the last day and we will go to the track with her now," said owner/handler O'Sullivan of the daughter of Getaway.

Michael O'Sullivan brought up the middle leg of his three-timer in the Bluegrass Horse Feeds & Munster Van Centre adjacent maiden for novice riders aboard the Paul Cashman-trained Coole Lion, who pulled up on his only previous start at Boulta last month.

The five-year-old led from the third fence and he had to be rousted along before three-out as the mare Honest To Goodness, who finished second in this same race last year, moved through to give chase.

Coole Lion however gamely maintained the tempo to account for Honest To Goodness by two and a half lengths.

"He's a lovely honest horse that gallops and jumps. It was a shame he didn't get to run at our local meeting in Knockanard last weekend and he will go to the sales now," said Cashman of the winner who is owned by his mother Catherine.

Competition seemed particularly intense in this year's renewal of the Amber Oil & John McSweeney Livestock Haulier open and the Gerry Kelleher-trained Macs Legend provided Michael O'Sullivan with his final success of the afternoon.

The dual hunter chase scorer last season, was noted making progress on the outer from five-out and he forged to the front after the third last.

With runner-up Fenno's Storm erring two-out, Macs Legend stayed on stoutly to beat Declan Queally's mount by one and a half lengths.

 "This horse worked very well at the point-to-point course in Aghabullogue during the week. The plan is to go for the Tetretema Cup at Gowran Park next month. We would also be hoping to run him in the hunters chase at Cork over Easter," said Kelleher of the Shane Prenderville-owned gelding.

The concluding Rathbarry Stud & Dairygold older geldings’ maiden attracted the biggest field of the afternoon with 13 runners and the newcomer Aughnacurra King came from well off the pace with his handler Mikey O'Connor to claim victory.

The patiently-ridden gelding, who was fortunate not to get brought down four-out, made swift progress from three-out to almost join issue with long-time leader Kildrum on the descent to the final fence.

The winning son of Tajraasi secured the faster jump here and he mastered Kildrum on the flat to oblige by a length and a half.

"We were not able to get a school into him on grass before today and I think that he's a fair horse. He will probably go for the winners’ race at Liscarroll next month," said O'Connor of the Ger Cummins owned and bred gelding.

Philip Fenton saddled his initial winner of the campaign when clear form-choice Groody Rover destroyed the opposition when making all the running in the Hanleys Butchers five-year-old geldings’ maiden under local Mitchelstown native Eoin O'Brien.

The Milan gelding finished third on his two previous starts at Boulta and Ballyvodock, stylishly asserted from three-out to beat Broomfield Boy a widening 12 lengths.

"He's a horse that was bought privately as a yearling and Eoin [O'Brien] was very crafty on him," said Fenton of Goody Rover, owned by the three-member Steeplechasers Club.

Declan Queally kept abreast at the head of the handlers' championship by steering the mare Givemylovetorose, whom he trains for Eileen O'Mahony from Knockraha, to her fourth success of the season in the Cross More Tyre Recycling winner of three.

The six-year-old was always well positioned and the daughter of Westerner set sail for home after four-out. She stormed clear from before the last to contain recent Ballyvodock scorer Bright Rhett by five lengths. 

"The Gain mares' final at Ballynoe is now the target," said Queally of the bay, arguably one of the best novice mares' that we have seen pointing for quite some time.

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