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Report | Ballyragget 15th March 2020

On an afternoon that witnessed the first weekend of racing to take place behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 virus, Wicklow rider Brian Lawless recorded his second career double this season.

Lawless opened his account aboard the Court Cave-sired son of Whisper In The Court in the GAIN Equine Nutrition five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

Whisper In The Court, who finished fourth on her initial points debut at Tyrella, was always prominent, before making her way to the head of affairs approaching the final fence to see off the staying on Simply Supreme by five lengths in the Thomas Stafford silks.

Winning handler Paul Stafford said: “She has done it well thank god. She could be sold if we get enough money but other than that, there is a two and a half mile mares’ bumper in Fairyhouse which she is eligible for because she is ITBA registered.”

Lawless quickly doubled up under the John Nallen-trained Minella Lightening in the Dicks SuperValu, Ballyragget five-year-old and upwards adjacent maiden while sporting the Bernardine Rochford colours.

The son of Martaline was getting off the mark at the fourth time of asking, as he came home in splendid isolation, with a distance back to the runner-up Kilcasey Gold in this contest.

“He will probably go for a winners’ race, if not sold beforehand. He loves that soft ground which is surprising because he is such a good mover,” said Nallen.

Wexford-based handler Mick Goff sent out Poldark Cross to destroy the opposition under Shane Fitzgerald in the Tallis & Co and Aidan Brophy five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Poldark Cross, who was second when falling three out on his debut start at Ballysteen in April 2019, came from off the pace to hit the front after two out as he stormed to an 18-length success over Moral Of The Story.

“We expected him to do that all along. I’d say he relished the soft ground and I couldn’t have been happier with him today. Dick Frisby owns him, and I started to put pressure on myself because I told Dick that wherever we go with this fella, we should collect. I’ll talk to Dick and see what he is going to do,” said Goff.

Fresh from his initial Cheltenham Festival success on Thursday, Rob James was back in the winner’s enclosure for the John Dalton & Sons, Chancellors Mills winner-of-one courtesy of the John Halley-trained Alloverafiver.

The 10-year-old, who was recording his second career success vindicated the promise of his third placed effort at Turtulla a week earlier when getting the better of Call It Time by four lengths.

Winning rider James, who was carrying the Richard O’Brien silks said: “She was third the last day, ran a cracker and the boys said we’d take a chance taking on the geldings today. She’s as tough as nails.”

The father/daughter combination of Pat and Susie Doyle enjoyed their second success together this season when landing the Connollys Red Mills open for novice riders with Reigning Supreme.

The son of Presenting was following up his success at Cragmore by effortlessly assuming command after two out, to dismiss Undressed by four lengths.

“That’s my second winner of the season so onwards and upwards now! He’ll stay pointing for the season now,” said winning rider Susie Doyle.

The Miguel Gunn-trained Smokin Vinnie deservedly got off the mark in the John Phelan & Co and John Holland six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

Smokin Vinnie made all throughout the contest and he then readily swept clear in the closing stages, showing a nice turn of foot in the process, to beat Reinvent by 18 lengths in the hands of Roger Quinlan.

“My father in law actually owns him so he’ll be delighted. He will probably stay pointing but we could run him in a maiden hunter chase or something,” said Gunn.  

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