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Nine-time winning pointer Drawn N Drank heads Irish challenge for Barbury

Sunday’s edition of the Barbury International point-to-point could well prove to be the best supported of the International fixtures to date, with no fewer than ten Irish entries for the eight-race card.

Eugene O’Sullivan, Cormac Doyle, Turlough O’Connor and Ellen Doyle are the four Irish handlers who have made entries for the English fixture, with O’Sullivan potentially sending a big team across the Irish Sea, having made no fewer than seven entries.

Two of those entries for the Cork handler come in the opening flat race for four and five-year-old’s, with his newcomers Fix The Bill and Headscratcher, among the 15 for the two-mile contest.

The Goffs UK open maiden for four and five-year-old’s has attracted the biggest Irish entry, with four of the 17 potential runners representing Irish connections.

Cormac Doyle’s second-season maiden, One True King, would bring plenty of experience to the race, with the €40,000 Derby sale purchase having had five outings between the flags here, finishing third, albeit beaten 18 lengths by last month’s Cheltenham Listed Bumper victor Israel Champ, at Monksgrange in March. More recently, he finished fifth at Mainstown behind Across The Channel.

Ellen Doyle enjoyed an across the card treble on Sunday, and she has entered the once-raced Hidden Commander for the two and a half-mile contest on Sunday. The half-brother of Irish National-sixth Roaring Bull, finished last of ten finishers at Lingstown three weeks ago on his debut, when trailing in 48 lengths behind Ocean Drifter.

Turlough O’Connor’s Demothi, who finished last, 37 lengths behind Coqolino at Ballindenisk a fortnight ago, and Eugene O’Sullivan’s Military Poet, who has run seven times under rules, complete the Irish entries for the race which forms part of a new 13-race programme of races specifically for four and five-year-old’s that has the shared-backing of Tattersalls Cheltenham and Goffs UK.

Interestingly, eight of the 17 entries began their careers in Irish point-to-points, with Baignard and The Whiskey Man now representing new connections having contested Irish maidens just last month for Denis Murphy and Matty Flynn O’Connor.

O’Sullivan is responsible for the four remaining entries on the card, with New Money, who pulled-up at Boulta on Sunday on what was her first start since leaving Aidan Fitzgerald, among 19 entries for the Jockey Club open maiden for mares over two and a half miles, with Drawn N Drank and Leg Lock Luke among 32 entries for the Jockey Club & Retraining of Racehorses Veteran Conditions race.

The former has not been seen since finishing eighth to On The Fringe in a Hunter Chase at Listowel in June, whilst Leg Lock Luke pulled-up at Kinsale last month on his first start back for O’Sullivan, having started out his career at the Lombardstown yard, when winning as a five-year-old at Loughrea. 

Carrigeen Star completes O’Sullivan’s entries as one of 18 in the concluding open maiden for six-year-old’s and upwards. The eight-year-old finished his first race between the flags at Dromahane when fifth in an adjacent hunt race that was won by his stable companion Kilcolman Dj.

Clerk of the Course John White confirmed on Monday that, following weekend rain, the going is now Good to Soft, Good in places.

Meeting Secretary Ilona Barnett said: “We are delighted to receive our largest entry to date. This has, however, meant we will be starting half an hour earlier and have divided the Novice Riders race. All other races are on or near the safety factor with the exception of the Conditions race.

“We would also like to remind owners that they will need to take their horse’s passport to the declarations table for checking when declaring. We very much look forward to some very competitive racing.”


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