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Report | Courtown 7th April 2019

Wexford riders Rob James and Shane O’Rourke shared the day’s riding honours with the pair riding a double each at a well-attended Courtown fixture.

The first of James' successes came in the Stone Solutions and Park Engineering five-and-six-year-old mares' maiden aboard the impressive Moonlit Wings.

Handled by Andrew Latta from Ballycarney, Wexford, the favourite ran out a comfortable six-length winner over the Colin Bowe-trained Princess Cave, with winning owner, Tommy James, and his family on hand to greet the winner. 

The daughter of Presenting had finished an eye-catching fourth on her debut at Ballinaboola and stepped-up to record an comprehensive victory.

The winning handler, who had also saddled a runner-up earlier on the card said: "She's a really good mare that we have always liked, but she came back very sick after her run at Balinaboola. The James family who own her have been great supporters of mine, so I'm delighted to get a win for them. She will head to the sales now."

Rob James completed his double aboard Longhouse Music in the Casey Enterprises and Connollys Red Mills mares' open for Sam Curling.

Owned by John Duggan, it was a seventh success for the season’s leading mare as she joined Kruzhlinin at the top of the Champion Pointer leader board.

The daughter of Gamut ran out a comfortable ten-length winner to defeat the John Walsh-trained Loggan Lady.

“She is the type of mare you could run every week, it doesn’t take a bother out of her. We will stay going down this road now, as she is joint with Kruzhlinin to be Champion horse and then she might go for a chase during the summer," said the winning owner.
Shane O'Rourke recorded the first of his two winners of the day in the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham April Sale four-year-old maiden aboard Crack Du Ninian.

The French-bred gelding was winning at the first time of asking for Pierce Power, who had four days earlier saddled Burning Ambition to finish second in the Aintree Foxhunters.

The winning son of Le Houssais made all to defeat Cormac Doyle's Young Offender, having been left clear at the last when Donnchadh Doyle's Mackenburg fell whilst upsides at the time. Owned by Una Lawlor, the winner is now sales bound.

“He did it the hard way there. I think he is an out and out galloper and is tough as nail. Una (Lawlor) is a good supporter of mine and that is the first winner they have had. Her son Fergus is a good mate of mine so we are chuffed,” said the winning handler.

O'Rourke doubled up in the Goffs Punchestown Sale five-year-old geldings’ maiden aboard Five Star Getaway for Shirley Berry.  The son of Getaway got off the mark at the second time of asking having pulled up at Knockanard in February, as he got the better of Andrew Latta’s Doubleubee for Barry O’Neill.

The winning handler’s husband Johnny Berry said: “We always thought a fair bit of him. He had one run down in Knockanard and he wasn’t right, his bloods were completely wrong afterwards. He looks a big staying chaser and will probably head to the sales now. My cousin, John Berry owns a bit of him with us.”

The season’s leading rider managed to go one better in the Kenneth Davies Tree Surgeon six-year-old and upwards maiden aboard Sadhbh's Delight.

The Kieran Roche-trained daughter of Doyen eased clear of her rivals to record an eight-length success over the recent Ballyragget faller Carrig Hill. Owned by John McCabe, the winner got off the mark on her 14th attempt after being placed on five occasions previously.

Winning handler Kieran Roche said; “She is a very consistent mare. I’m delighted for her owner John McCabe who is a great supporter of mine. James Walsh would have ridden her and has been a great help but he is out this weekend with concussion. She deserved that, we will keep her now and go for a winners race.”

Winning rider-handler Mark Scallan recorded a second consecutive success with Costalotmore in the Ire-Wel Pallets and Mr Chris Hattom winner of one race.

The winning son of Primary came home a distance clear from the eventual runner up Singing Banjo who is handled and owned by John Walsh. Owned by Desmond Ellard the five-year-old was following up his recent Lingstown success which he did in good style.

The winning rider said: “I think he is a very good horse and he is still improving. The form is standing up from the maiden he won at Lingstown and I will leave it up to the owners but we might sell him now.” 

The first division of the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham April Sale four-year-old maiden race was a strongly run contest which saw the €48,000 sales graduate Baptism of Fire in the hands of Jamie Codd for Denis Murphy coming out on top.The son of Jeremy produced a late challenge to defeat the Colin Bowe-trained Tupelo Mississippi by just a head.

The winner, who is also owned by Murphy, will head to the sales now. “He probably looked a little too well in the ring, another couple of weeks wouldn’t have went astray on him, but he just rattled home. His work at home was unreal, you will hear a lot about this lad," said Murphy.

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