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Report | Aghabullogue 12th January 2020

Sam Curling and Pa King dominated Sunday’s Muskerry Foxhounds meeting at Aghabullogue by combining for a three-timer with the Co. Tipperary duo opening their account courtesy of last season’s Kildorrery fourth Knockanora Damsel in the Dave Dennehy & Family five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.

The seasonal debutant Knockanora Damsel, having had to be rousted along from half-way, took closer order from three out.

A final fence error didn’t altogether aid her cause and she made her way to the front in the closing stages to deny No Fame No Game by a short head in the closest finish of the afternoon.

“She was entitled to do that as she ran well at Kildorrery last season. She loves this testing ground and will now go for a mares’ winners race,” said Curling of Knockanora Damsel, owned and bred by brothers Gerard and Patrick Berkery from Toomevara.

Lite Duties similarly benefited from frontrunning tactics by providing the Curling/King combination with their second success in the Brookfield Leisure Centre open.

The 11-year-old Lite Duties, a former 134-rated hurdler when under the care of Charles Byrnes, was well in command on the run to the final fence. Although untidy here, he still beat the returning Monty’s Meadow by four lengths.

Winning handler Curling said: "He was unlucky at Boulta in November as he would have gone very close but for making a mistake at the last. His jumping is coming together, and he was a very classy track horse a few years ago and fair play to his owner Eamonn Casey for persevering with him."

Templebredin also overcame some jumping errors by bringing up the concluding leg of the Curling/King treble in the All Plast Engineering Ltd winner-of-one.

Templebredin, a creditable fourth on his previous start in the two-mile six furlong Limerick hunter chase over Christmas, edged ahead after four out and the six-year-old drew clear on the run to the last to see off Elusive Star by three lengths.

"He's a lovely horse that wants better ground and he should hopefully develop into a nice staying chaser,” said Curling of Templebredin, owned by Mary Teresa O’Brien from Thurles.

The Harry Kelly-trained Rossbeigh Strand proved to be the easiest winner of the afternoon as he made all of the running to come home as he pleased in the Goffs UK January P2P Sale five-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Rossbeigh Strand, who pulled up on his only previous start in a Dromahane auction maiden last season, asserted on the descent after two out and he was well in command when blundering at the final fence.

James Hannon sat tight and the winning son of Mahler still returned with 14 lengths to spare over Straight Swap.

“We liked him last year, but he just got a bit weak. James [Hannon] gave him a great ride and he will now go to a sale,” said Kelly of Rossbeigh Strand, the initial winner that he has trained for Fethard-based owner Sean Ronan.

Damian Murphy, who rode many winners down through the years at Aghbullogue including Whyso Mayo, sent out last month’s Ballynoe debut runner-up Sovereign Gold to record a popular success under southern regional championship leader Johnny Barry in the W & M Kiely Ltd six-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

Sovereign Gold, a close relation to Grade 3 placed hurdler Ballydub, moved through to lead on the run to the final fence and she produced the faster leap here to beat Rose Milan by a widening three lengths.

"She has always been a nice mare, it's just that she was a big baby as such last year. We will go for a mares’ winners race now," said Murphy of Sovereign Gold, shared by his wife Jane Foley with Mrs Catherine Cashman.

21-year-old David O’Brien, who hails from Ballincollig, posted an initial success for his boss John Halley aboard Entre Deux in the Dan Donovan & Co Ltd six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

The French-bred Entre Deux, who finished third to Movethechains at Dromahane on December 30th, thwarted One For The Yard’s brave bid to make all by surging past the frontrunner inside the final 50 yards to score by two lengths. A winners’ race is probably next for Entre Deux.


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