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Report | Rathcannon 7th April 2019

It was a warm, pleasant day at Rathcannon on Sunday as the sunshine brought a good crowd out to witness a double on the day for the Wexford duo of Luke Murphy and Denis Murphy to follow up their victory at Moira 24 hours earlier.

Their first success came courtesy of Pure Bliss in the Tattersalls Ireland four-year-old mares' maiden. The daughter of Mount Nelson took over at the head of affairs after the last and battled gamely to deny Annieguire by three-quarters of a length in a thrilling finish, forcing the fellow Wexford combination of Jordan Gainford and Donnchadh Doyle to settle for the runners-up spot.

The winner, a half-sister to the four-time winner Secret Edge that was trained by Alan King, was subject to good reports before racing and went off as the market leader.

Denis Murphy's representative Tom Cloke said: “This mare had given us plenty of encouragement at home so we really fancied her coming here. She was good and tough at the end too and will go to one of the upcoming sales now.”

The second of two successes on the card for the unrelated Murphy’s came in the Lord Harrington five-year-old geldings' maiden with Goodoldtimes.

The son of Gold Well has enjoyed two good runs to date, finishing second at both Lingstown and Oldtown earlier in the spring, to ensure that this was a deserved success.

The €32,000 sales graduate still has to be considered a fortunate winner as he found himself a couple of lengths adrift of the favourite Shannon Tide when he fell at the last, leaving Cremant to claim the runners-up position in the hands of Jordan Gainford for Colin Bowe.

The winning rider said: “This is a good, consistent horse. He’s been unlucky to go down narrowly on his other two runs. He’s tough out and was staying away and I felt he might have got to the other horse that fell in front.”

Firak came out on top in the Goffs Punchestown Sale four-year-old geldings’ maiden for Donnchadh Doyle and Jimmy O'Rourke, as the French-bred son of Fuisse, battled gamely to deny Monty Guiry. The pair were left to battle out the finish after Castle Robin departed on the road crossing in between the final two fences.
This was the winning gelding's second start of the season having finished in second place on his debut at Ballyarthur in March in the hands of Rob James. 

Purchased by Ryan Mahon for €20,000 in Arqana back in 2017, the French-bred is a half-brother to the ten-time winner Virak who was trained by Paul Nicholls up until April 2018 and is now set to be offered for sale.

On The Fringe made a winning return to action under Aine O'Connor in the Maurice Power Solicitors Open for Enda Bolger.

Owned by JP McManus, who was on hand to greet his winner, the Exit To Nowhere gelding finished strongly to deny the Thomas O'Connor-trained Sea Light. The 14-year-old had not been seen since winning a hunter chase at Listowel last June, proved to be one of the most popular winners of the day.

The winning handler said; “We’re thrilled with that, it all went to plan. He’ll be entered in the Joseph O’Reilly Hunters Chase and also in the Champion Hunter Chase at Punchestown. The race he won in Listowel would also be an option for him.”

Michelle Gannon sent out Panthers Creek to win the Paul Leonard Construction, Niall Foley, Conack Construction & Paddy McAuliffe Bookmakers six-year-old and upwards maiden. The Getaway gelding had run twice previously this season, finishing third on his last outing at Ballyragget in March and he continued his progression to come out on top at the Limerick course.

Taking up the initiative with two to jump, the six-year-old was in control from that point as he provided Stephen Connor with his first success following a leg injury which had kept him on the sidelines for much of the season.

The winning handler who is from Johnstown, Kilkenny said: “He did it really well thankfully. He’s improving all the time, you’d be very pleased with the way he travelled and he put in a superb round of jumping.” 

The Dunraven Arms, Adare & mount Coote Stud five-and-six-year-old mares' maiden went to Huckleberry Hill, providing local handler Lenny Flynn with his first success in that role in the process. Partnered by Dean Sinnott, the daughter of Shantou battled back gamely to head The Distant Lady and win by half-a-length.
An experienced campaigner, the mares Owner, Tony McNamara from Mungret, Limerick was on hand to greet his winner.

The winning handler, Flynn, who is based near Crecora said: “This is a nice mare that has been coming along with each run. The bit of nicer ground was a big help to her today and I’ll chat with Tony (McNamara) about future plans for her next week.”

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