Derek O'Connor was witnessed to purposefully good effect when bringing the Liam Burke-owned/trained newcomer Exod'ela from well off the pace to win in the Pegus five & six-year-old geldings’ maiden The Saddler Maker-sired Exod'ela, a €43,000 graduate of the 2017 Goffs Land Rover sale, still had just two-out of the 13 runners behind him setting out on the final circuit.
The winning bay however moved ever closer from three-out and he took the measure of long-time leader Three Is Company inside the final 50 yards to account for Matt Collins' charge by two and a half lengths.
"That was a very good ride from Derek. This horse stays and gallops and he ideally would want nicer ground than he ran on today,” said Burke.
It Came To Pass stepped forwards from his third-placed return effort for new connections at Kildorrery on February 24th by returning to the coveted number one slot in the Coolagown Stud Open under his handler Eugene O'Sullivan's daughter Maxine O'Sullivan.
The patiently-ridden It Came To Pass, a half-brother to former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere, touched down in front on landing over the final fence and he duly asserted to beat La Fontana by two and a half lengths.
With handler O'Sullivan absent, his daughter reported: "The ultimate aim would be the Aintree Foxhunters, although he would have to take a few more steps before that."
Maxine also paid tribute to winning British-based owners Alurie and Gerald O'Sullivan - no relation - for their support of her father's stable.
The opening Tattersalls Ireland four-year-old maiden saw Luke Murphy partner an initial winner for the absent Colin Bowe, aboard Java Point in this eight-runner contest.
The patiently-ridden newcomer Small Bad Bob appeared to make the decisive move by going to the front on the approach to two-out and Paul O'Connell's charge still held a commanding four-length advantage when falling at the final fence.
The Stowaway gelding, who unseated at the first fence on his only previous start at Oldtown, was the one to take advantage and the €42,000 Derby sale acquisition then forged clear in the closing stages to account for long-time leader Champagne Power by 15 lengths in the colours of the Milestone Racing Partnership.
"He's a good tough horse and I would imagine that he will now go to the sales," said 22-year-old Murphy of Java Point.
The Coolmore & Glanbia five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden was a most grief-stricken contest with no less than seven out of the 13 runners either falling, getting brought down or unseating. Eventually the Pierce Power-trained newcomer Seaside Girl came home as she pleased in the hands of Rob James.
The whole complexion of this race altered three-out as newcomer Knockraha Katie fell when holding a two-length advantage.
Seaside Girl was then left in front and with two of her pursuers crashing out at the penultimate obstacle, she readily forged clear between the final two fences to account for Finisk Rose by 15 lengths in the silks of British-domiciled owner Michael Murphy.
"Rob gave her a great ride and I'd imagine that she will now be sold," said Power of Seaside Girl.
The Seamus Neville-trained Notice To Close served notice that a profitable track career lies in wait by destroying the opposition in the O’Keeffes Sawmills winner of two under Mikey O'Connor. The five-year-old who beat Barrowlands in a cracking Knockanard maiden three weeks earlier, was bounced out at the head of affairs and the grey made virtually all the running in this truly-run contest. Whilst briefly joined by Woodbrook Boy before two-out, Notice To Close asserted from the last to beat this season's dual scorer Shanacoole by two and a half lengths.
"He did it the hard way and he probably won't go to the track until next season,” said Wexford-based businessman Neville of the Martaline-sired Notice To Close, owned by his wife Ina.
The Paul Tobin-trained Shanacoole Prince, having finished second to subsequent Grade 2 novice hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar at Liscarroll last term, attained his due reward by becoming the only victorious favourite of the afternoon in the concluding Horni Brooks Garage confined maiden.
The long-time leader Valcourt had just been joined by Shancoole Prince when cruelly exiting at the final fence and the market-leader then asserted with James Hannon to dismiss the ultra-consistent Crystal Kate by five lengths.
The indications are that Shanacoole Prince, owned and bred by Paddy Kelleher, will now be primed for a tilt at a winners contest.