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Report | Bellharbour 02nd February 2020

Rob James was one of three riders on the afternoon to record a double, the first leg of which came in the Costello Family-sponsored four-year-old maiden with the Colin Bowe-trained Star Gate.

Running in the colours of the Milestone Racing Partnership, the son of Imperial Monarch was prominent throughout before going clear after the second last to secure a three-length victory over the Robert Tyner-trained Womalko.

"Colin [Bowe] will be delighted with that. He showed a nice bit of boot there and will go to the Cheltenham February Sale now," said Craig Casey, who was representing the winning handler.

The second leg of James' double came courtesy of the Donnchadh Doyle-trained Fashion Nova, who dead-heated with the Michael Winters-trained and Chris O'Donovan-ridden Rose Milan in the GAIN Equine Nutrition and Gort Co-Op Mart & MacMahon Oil five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

"This is a lovely mare that has come on since her debut run. She has a smashing pedigree and will likely head on to a sale now," said Eamonn Doyle of Fashion Nova, who stepped up from her fourth at Borris House on debut to share the spoils with the twice-placed Mark Walsh-owned Rose Milan.

Johnny Barry took the Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings' maiden with the John Nallen-owned and trained Minella Escape, who secured a six-length success over the Warren Ewing-trained Here We Have it, providing Barry with the first leg of his double.

"This fella has such good use of himself that we call him Ronaldo at home. We've always liked him, he's a big weak horse that's a work in progress really."

The Kerry Co-Op & The Pier Head Bar and Restaurant winner-of-one went the way of the Eddie Power-owned and trained The Blind Piper, who sealed Barry's double.The son of Robin Des Champs held on at the finish by a length over Elusive Star.

"This horse has loads of ability. I'd say he was only 80% fit there today, so there's plenty left to come, and we'll look to the point-to-point bumper in Gowran or a winner-of-two now," said Power.

Aloneamongmillions, a debutant in open company, took the John O'Donnell General Merchant & Clare Marts & Linnane's Lobster Bar open for the Sam Curling team in the colours of Tessa Foreman, providing Derek O'Connor with the opening leg of his double.

The son of Mahler remains unbeaten from four starts following this one-length victory over Foxtail Hill.

"That was a big step up for him, but thankfully he got the job done. We won't rush him this year as he's a horse we're looking forward to next year. He'll go for the Tetratema Cup in Gowran now," said Curling.

Alaphilippe took the Kilnacrandy Farm & Clare Road Tyres six-year-old and upwards geldings' maiden for handler Paurick O'Connor and owner Claire MacMahon, providing Derek O'Connor with the second leg of his double.

"Claire [MacMahon] who owns this horse, works very hard with our horses so it's a special day for her too and I'm over the moon for her," said the winning handler.

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