Seven races were held at Durrow on Saturday, marking the first day of the Brosna hunts two-day meeting in Offaly.
Peter Flood claimed the Kepak & Walsh Family four-year-old mares' maiden with Moore Clouds to continue his blossoming career as a handler.
Ridden by Anthony Fox, the daughter of Cloudings ran out a two-and-a-half-length winner defeating the Ashleigh Murphy-trained Imperial View in the hands of Tiernan Roche. Despite a large number of casualties in the race, the winner owned by the DD Partnership managed to steer clear of trouble by setting a good gallop at the head of affairs.
The winning handler said: “She is a great jumper and has been showing us plenty. We haven’t been running too many lately, they just weren’t all right and she is the first to run since. But she is as game as you want and has loved it since day one. She will probably be sold now.”
The second instalment of the Tattersalls Ireland four-year-old maiden auction race was held on Saturday.
The races are confined to horses purchased last summer for less than €25,000 and it was the €15,500 May store sale graduate, Hometown Boy, who came out on top for Wexford handler Cormac Doyle.
The debut winner ran keenly in the early stages of the race but went on to gain a three-length victory over the long-time leader Flying Garry for Shane Hassett and John Barry.
The winning son of Curtain Time will now head to the sales.
“He has always worked well but he was a bit keen at the start of this race and got caught in a bit of traffic, but in the end he did it well," said Doyle.
John Barry went one better in the second division of the Goffs UK, Aintree Sale five-year-old geldings' maiden aboard Brandy Pad for Caroline McCaldin.
The son of Watar pulled up on his debut in the autumn at Loughanmore but battled gamely here to record a narrow victory over Tony The Bear ridden by James Walsh.
Alan McCaldin, husband of the winning handler saidL “We think a lot of the horse, so we were confident. We knew he was fit, he jumped very well and Johnny (Barry) brought him home for us. That is John’s first winner for us. We have had a string of seconds in the last couple of weeks so we knew the yard was in good form and really appreciated the win here.”
Division one of that five-year-old geldings' maiden went to Ciaran Murphy with Jack Hackett in the hands of the winning handler’s younger brother Aaron.
The son of Beat Hollow ran out a comprehensive eight-length winner defeating the Dick Lalor-trained Fully Charged, with daughter Liz in the saddle.
The winning handler owns the gelding in partnership with Sean Reilly who also bred the horse and has enjoyed notable success with his half-sister Dawn Shadow.
Winning rider Aaron Murphy said: "It took him the last two runs to mature. He is a proper galloper that goes on easy ground and he is a big three-mile chaser. |He is a horse that is for sale.”
Kieran Roche and John McCabe had been forced to settle for the second spot in division two of the five-year-old maiden as they once again filled the position of runner up in the Connollys Red Mills & ITBA six-year-old mares’ maiden with Sadhbh's Delight.
Success in this race went to Vincent Devereaux with Getawaytonewbay in the hands of Shane O'Rourke. The winning daughter of Getaway put up a good performance on her last start at Lingstown against geldings and was certainly not winning out of turn.
“I don’t think she would have liked the soft ground here too much but she did it well. We will probably try for a winners race now and see where we go from there. I think on good ground she might be good enough for the track but we will go for the winners first,” said Devereux.
Sam Curling continued his run of good form when adding the Rathbarry & Glenview Stud & B D Flood, Trim six-year-old geldings' maiden to his season’s haul with Berkerys Enigma.
The son of Flemensfirth, who was ridden by Derek O'Connor, was left clear at the last when Fiddler Of Dooney fell, whilst disputing the lead allowing to come home six lengths clear of Duckphil.
"He is a nice horse and had a good run the last day. He only came to me this season, but he will improve plenty from that again. He might run in a winners race now and then head to the track," said winning handler Sam Curling.
Success in the Midland Veterinary Tullamore mares' winner of one race went to Gerard Kelleher and Michael O'Sullivan with Maifitz's Madonna.
Running in the colours of owners Larry Buckley and Jackie Beirne, the Milan mare recently enjoyed success at Turtulla earlier in March, and she doubled up when getting the better of a prolonged battle with the recent wide-margin Lismore winner Seaside Girl.
Mikey Kelleher, brother of the winning handler said: “The mare ran well and is very tough. She will go to Cork for the mares’ hunter chase now over Easter.”