WEEK 47: MONDAY, 16 NOV – SUNDAY, 22 NOVEMBER
Back down to earth with a bang this week but still 7 winners to report from Avondhu area locals, both based and not based in the UK. We have three winners from Jonjo O’Neill and one winner apiece from Liam Keniry, David O’Meara, Conor Ring and that man again, Ronnie O’Leary. Our combined 2015 winners total now stands at 438.
CAPARD THE KING OF O’NEILL TRIO
Castletownroche native and trainer, Jonjo O’Neill, kept up his winning momentum, following another three winners in Week 47, which took his 2015-16 jumps season total on to the 54 winner mark.
His most notable winner came with the Richard Johnson ridden, Capard King (5/2Jf), who took the 5 runner Southwell Festive Fixtures Novices’ H’cap Chase (C3), over 24f, at Southwell on November 17th last. Making his handicap chase debut, this six-year-old gelded son of Beneficial and three-time hurdle winner, was given an opening handicap mark of 135, the same as his hurdles mark.
Back from a summer break and looking fresh and well, Capard King jumped off towards the inside just off the early leader and recent course winner, Shah Of Persia, who took the field along at a reasonable pace. From an early point in this race, it was clear that Capard King was attacking his fences with zest, and joining Shah Of Persia, he either led or disputed the lead up until the 7th fence, where his brilliant jumping took him into the lead outright.
Loath to hold back his mount, Johnson became more than positive and that combination provided us with a great spectacle as the field went out on their final circuit. Foot perfect at every fence, Capard King was going to take a lot of catching, as he continued to make the crowd hold their breath. With the field stacked up behind him, Capard King strode on some three lengths clear over the third and second last. With Seldom Inn coming from the clouds after some dodgy jumping, Johnson asked and again got a huge leap from Capard King over the last.
Tiring somewhat after a long break, this Geoff Barker owned gelding, found plenty up the run-in to deny the staying on Seldom Inn by a neck.
Recording his 4th win from 9 starts, Capard King can go on to better things. His win brought back some great memories for this writer who led up his first ever winner in these same colours when Ambleside Harvest and Lorcan Wyer took a novice hurdle, at Carlisle, back in 1992. He beat a horse of Gordon Richards, Whispering Steel, who was led up by a fellow Fermoy man, Danny ‘Jimmy’ Barry.
Jonjo O’Neill, winning trainer, went on to say, “Capard King loves jumping fences and has done from day one. He was a bit fresh early on but settled into it. He jumped well and kept finding. That was a good performance.”
O’Neill went on to record another two winners and they were both on the same day, Saturday, November 17th. The first came with the Joshua Moore ridden, Allow Dallow (6/1), who took the 7 runner 1st Security Solutions Novices’ H’cap Chase (C4), over 16.5f at Huntingdon. Former Dromahane Point-to-Point winner, Allow Dallow, was another horse coming back from a summer break and making his chase debut.
O’Neill’s final winner came with the Barry Geraghty ridden, Another Hero (9/2), who overcame a 584-day absence to take the 6 runner Bam Construct Novices’ H’cap Chase (C3), over 24f at Ascot. Another Hero was also making his chase debut and has now won six races from just ten starts.
FULL MARKS FOR GRIT TO BOB
Freemount native and conditional jump jockey, Conor Ring, was back amongst the winners, aboard the Hugo Froud trained, Marky Bob (9/2), who scored in the 5 runner Betfred Conditional Jockeys’ H’cap Chase (C4), over 16.5f, at Fakenham on November 17th last. Back from a small break after a disappointing performance at Fontwell last time out, this 10-year-old gelded son of Turtle Island, was bidding to hold on to his 100% course record, which stood at 2-2.
Ring made his intentions clear from the start, jumping Marky Bob off in front and poaching a good five or six length lead on his rivals over the first two fences. Setting a solid looking pace and a bit sloppy over some of his fences, Marky Bob settled into a good gallop as the field closed up behind him, going over the last on the first circuit.
Going out into the country for the final time and Marky Bob had company, when joined and hassled by All But Grey going down over the 8th of 12 fences. Losing the lead, Ring now had to stoke up his mount to keep tabs on the new leader and responding gamely, Marky Bob was soon back upsides All But Grey going down to the second last. A great jump two out saw Marky Bob back in front on landing and he looked to have All But Grey covered only for another grey, Youm Jamil, to come alongside him travelling nicely.
Jumping the last with both horses in unison, Marky Bob dug deep, and finding plenty for pressure, he put away Youm Jamil up the short run-in, going on to win in the end by one and a quarter lengths. With both horse and trainer keeping their 100% Fakenham records intact, it will be interesting to see if Marky Bob will be turned out quickly again, considering he could run without a penalty in a normal handicap.
Conor Ring, winning jockey, went on to say, “Marky Bob is as tough as nails. He was flat to the boards but stays well. The further the better and it’s a perfect track for him.”
Speaking to The Avondhu, Ring said, “He was very tough and really had to battle from a long way out.”
SNOW COMES FROM THE CLOUDS TO DENY STABLEMATE
Fermoy native and trainer, David O’Meara, reached the 120 winner mark for 2015, with the Danny Tudhope ridden, Snow Cloud (11/4f), who went on to take the 9 runner Unibet H’cap (C4), over 5f, at Lingfield Park on November 21st last. Following up on last week’s Southwell win, this three-year-old Kodiac filly was defying a penalty, winning here off an all-time high mark of 86.
Well away from an outside draw, Snow Cloud had little option but to drop in, as it soon became apparent that this bended sprint was going to be cut-throat from start to finish. With a three-way go for the lead, headed by the Liam Keniry ridden, Desert Strike, followed close-up by both Pearl Noir and another O’Meara inmate, Jebediah Shine, Tudhope was sighted in about 7th position, slightly run off his feet, as the leaders went hard in front.
Passing the halfway point and caught a little wide of runners, Snow Cloud kept tabs on the pace and was soon taking closer order when ridden into the final bend just over two furlongs out. As the leaders straightened up for home, Snow Cloud came widest of all, as Mossgo and Kieren Fox shot into the lead up the inside. Ridden strongly and coming with a storming late rattle, Snow Cloud came from the clouds to mow down both Mossgo and her stable-companion, Jebediah Shine, nearing the finishing line.
Going on to win readily, this Middleham Park Racing owned filly, had half a length to spare over Jebediah Shine; it was a further neck back to Mossgo, in third.
A one-two for O’Meara, with Snow Cloud taking the spoils and thriving at the moment. She will now have to try and complete her hat-trick at a higher level. She holds no short-term entries and still has that sales entry on December 2nd next.
Danny Tudhope, winning rider, went on to say, “Snow Cloud can be a bit quirky and didn’t handle the bend very well. She is a hold-up filly and won well in the end.”
WAKAME MAKES ALL UNDER NO NONSENSE KENIRY
Killeagh native and flat jockey, Liam Keniry, recorded his 52nd winner of 2015, aboard the Ed De Giles trained, Wakame (13/2), who took the 13 runner 32Red Nursery H’cap (C6) over 7f, at Kempton Park on November 18th last. Coming here off last week’s solid looking course third, this two-year-old Kodiac colt was dropped back down to 7f, with a prime stall position, on the rail, in one.
Well away early and stoked up to take the outright lead, Wakame looked to hold all the aces as Keniry set about getting his fractions right. No better man from the front, Keniry sat quiet and waited for the first breath of a challenge, which came well off the home turn in the shape of the dangerous looking, Arctic Flower. Hitting the two pole and Wakame had a race on his hands, but ridden strongly he began to respond more to his jockey and staying on gamely, this Simon Treacher owned colt ran all the way to the line and had a bit of luck on his side as the luckless Sunbaked, who had no joy in running, closed fast and late. Only a neck separated the first two, with a further three-quarters of a length back to race favourite, Nomadic, in third.
Recording his first win, on this, his sixth start, Wakame a 55,000gns yearling purchase, was winning here off a mark of 57 and shouldn’t be punished too much by the handicapper for this success. Liam Keniry, winning rider, went on to say, “Wakame was drawn wide last week and they didn’t go hard enough. He was better drawn tonight and I was able to make better use of him. He showed a good attitude and should be better next year.”
O’LEARY STRIKES AGAIN WITH KEEPER
Castlelyons native and Killaloe based trainer, Ronnie O’Leary registered yet another winner in the UK last week, this, following on from the previous week’s Carlisle winner, Three Ways, who subsequently went on to be sold for €270,000 at the Cheltenham sales.
This time, O’Leary struck with the Andrew Tinkler ridden, Keeper Hill (5/4f), who went on to take the 10 runner PHS Besafe National Hunt Flat race, over 16.5f, at Market Rasen on November 19th last. Very well supported in the market, this four-year-old gelded son of Westerner, had little trouble in dispatching this field, winning by some six lengths in the end. He will no doubt have a huge for sale sign on his back with O’Leary’s wife again down as the successful owner. A €31,000 three-year-old, Keeper Hill will make a fine recruit to jumping.
UK flat/jumps 2015 434; Ireland 1, France 2, Canada 1.