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Report | Tyrella 07th March 2020

Luke Murphy made his long-awaited return back to the winner’s enclosure when he guided the Denis Murphy-trained Greenrock Abbey to win the Dennison Commercials four-year-old auction maiden.

The one-length success of the €10,000 Tattersalls Ireland August Sale purchase over the British-bred Monkstreet, was his first since November of last year.

“He was good there, my brother Paul Gahan and Denis Murphy own him. We liked this lad at home, he is a lovely horse and he will head to one of the sales now,” said Liam Gahan.

Having had to settle for second with his Monkstreet in the day’s opener, compensation did follow for fellow Wexford raider Cormac Doyle, when he saddled Oscar Elite to run out a convincing winner of a big field Albert Bartlett five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Well-backed ahead of his latest outing at Ballycrystal in January, favourite supporters left their money behind on that occasion when he trailed in last of the eight finishers at his local fixture, however he did gain redemption at the seaside Co. Down venue, when he forced Here We Have It to settle for the runners-up spot for the third time this season.

“We fancied him the last day in Ballycrystal, but he wasn’t right afterwards, so we gave him a couple of weeks off and we were confident coming up here today,” said Cormac Doyle of the Oscar gelding that was guided to his five-length success by Jack Hendrick.

Well Bill turned the tables on Like A Demon in the Robert McCoubrey winner-of-three contest, as the pair, who had finished first and second in a similar event at the same course back in late January, re-opposed just over a month later.

Well Bill had been making his debut for the Marshall Watson yard on that occasion, and with the run under his belt, he was able get the better of his former conqueror, crossing the line under Daire McConville, six lengths clear of Nigel Slevin’s charge.

The nine-year-old is now set to be targeted at a hunter chase in Downpatrick.

That was one of two winners’ races on the card, as the Stephen Magee & William McDowell adjacent hunt winners’ race saw the mare, Double Smart, get the better of the boys for Paddy Turley.

A maiden winner at Kirkistown in November, the Andrew Parsons-owned daughter of Flemensfirth, had returned to that course for her latest outing when chasing home the useful Mt Leinster Gold last month.

However with nothing of that calibre facing her here, Declan Lavery was able to bring her home four lengths clear of Colin McBratney’s Dento Des Obeaux.

“She is in foal to Order Of St George, but she will hopefully go to the track now. I am in the middle of getting my trainers licence, so if that comes through on time and we haven’t run out of days to run her, she will go for a mares’ maiden hurdle,” said the winning handler.

Honeysuckle and Battleoverdoyen are just two big name graduates of Jerry Cosgrave’s Banbridge yard that will be featuring at the Cheltenham Festival, and he started off the week well by unleashing Ballela to make a winning debut in the Bluegrass & Dengie five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.

The chestnut mare has the honour of becoming the first offspring of John Gosden’s Group 3 Bahrain Trophy victor, Shantaram, to win in the pointing fields here, after she defeated Mullaghmore Wave by 15 lengths under Mark O’Hare.

“Two of my sons and a brother of mine own her, so it’s a family affair. She is for sale now,” said the winning handler.

Paddy McGuigan was seen to good effect in the INHS Committee older maiden, as he sent Tardree clear from a very early stage, and the six-year-old could not be reeled in as he crossed the line 15 lengths clear of Gigiplan Two Seven.

“Paddy gave him a great ride, he isn’t easy and can be a bit keen. He has had a couple of operations for his wind and that probably helped him,” said winning handler Colin McKeever.

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