Local trainers Pat Doyle (Holy Cross) and Andy Slattery (Killenaule) were the men to follow at last Sunday’s well supported Golden Vale Foxhounds point to point staged at Turtulla, Thurles.
Between the pairings they plundered four of the six races, with Evan Dwan and Susie Doyle scoring for the Pat Doyle yard, whilst Roger Quinlan steered home the Slattery brace.
Twelve months ago, Andy Slattery trained Beakstown – a progeny of Stowaway – to land the 4-year-old maiden at this same venue and on Sunday last, Slattery was again on the mark as his Shan Blue (6/4 – 4/5) under Roger Quinlan put up a very impressive performance to take this nine-runner contest by 1 3/4L.
Quinlan always had the progeny of Shantou in a prominent position and it was not until between the fourth and third last fences that he upped the tempo somewhat and quickly poached 2 to 3L. Over the last three obstacles the John Barry partnered Hurling Magic (10/4 – 7/2) latched on to the eventual winner’s coat tails. However, this pairing could not land a telling blow, eventually going down by 1 3/4L.
Andy Slattery was on hand to greet his winner and expressing his delight he said: “I gave 12k for him as a foal and I think now he’s a lovely horse, he has speed and 2 to 2.5-mile chasing is his game. The ground was plenty quick for him there and I’d say he would go on any type of ground. Roger said he idled a little in front, but sure look, he will go to the sales now.”
This winner is one of three 4-year-olds Slattery has to run before Christmas, and he has thirteen 3-year-olds in at present.
Of last year’s winner, Beakstown, just 24-hours earlier he bolted up for Harry and Dan Skelton at Uttoxeter in a 2.5-mile maiden hurdle.
Just two mares (from three entries) contested the mares winners of two contest and it was here that Slattery and Quinlan completed their brace with 4/6 (from 4/5) shot The Crafty Touch.
The -5year-old daughter of Touch Of Land was a faller the last day at Tinahely, but she striped fit and well here to virtually make all and eclipse her only rival Cubanera (4/5 – 5/4) and Timmy Love by 4L, the only anxious moment favourite backer had was at the last obstacle, where she met it all wrong but full credit to Quinlan, he sat tight much to the annoyance of the eight bookmakers present.
“She’s a smashing race mare,” commented Andy Slattery. “She loved that ground, she will win some amount of races in the UK throughout a summer campaign. She’s made for it. Dan Breen (farrier) owns her and I will talk to him to see where we go next.”
Pat Doyle and Evan Dwan (Boherlann) teamed up to land the 5-year-old geldings maiden with recent Moig South runner-up Myrons (Ev – 5/2).
Dwan found himself at the head of affairs with well over a mile to race. However, he didn’t go demented in front, and from two out it was obvious that he was holding too many aces over the remainder before drawing away to score cosily by 4L from Ran Rite (4-7) and Richie Deegan.
“This lad came to me from Bill Harney’s and to be fair to Bill, he had all the hard work done,” commented Pat Doyle. “He just needed the summers grass and this nice ground. Fair play to Evan, he was very good there. A grand lad and a smashing young rider.”
Due to low lying sun, both fences four and five were omitted for our concluding two contests, one of which was the novice riders open lightweight during which a total of nine obstacles were jumped.
Here, Pat Doyle completed his brace with 5/2 shot Samanntom partnered by his daughter Susie (19) who is in her second year of marketing at CIT.
In front from the drop of the flag, the eventual winner had Cassells Rock (3/5) and Barrystone for company throughout with the rest nowhere to be fair.
At the second last of the nine obstacles, Cassells Rock raised the white flag as the 10-year-old Samanntom kept up the relentless gallop and the progeny of Portrait Gallery duly went on to dismiss 6/4 shot Cloudy morning and Mike Sweeney by a never nearer 2L. However, the jolly’s cause was not helped by the reduced number of fences jumped.
“That was just brilliant,” said a very emotional Pat Doyle. “I can hardly talk with tears, she’s a star to ride. At home when she passes me on the gallops, it’s like watching Jack, she’s a topper, she has never left us down. She rides out for us Monday and Friday and she’s with Robe Tyner Tuesday and Thursday and somewhere in there she goes to college.”
This is Susie Doyle’s first career victory in the plate and with a good old Open horse like Samanntom she could find herself in the mix for the lady riders’ title.
Patience is a virtue, so the saying goes, and this old maxim was borne out in our concluding 6-year-old and upwards maiden, which was won by 9/4 shot Overbury Prince on 11-year-old progeny of Overbury from the Terence O’Brien yard, just one of three Cork runners on the day.
Partnered by Darragh Allen, the imposing bay stormed to the front at the bypassed last obstacle and under a stylish drive from Allen, he prevailed by 1L from the Eoin Mahon partnered Mustmeetforapint (6/4-11/4).
Terence O’Brien was absent (on duty Mallow), but part-owner Tomas Aherne was on hand to greet the winner, and of him said: “It’s taken a long time to get here but it’s done now. Sure look, he was second in a bumper and placed over hurdles, we will talk to the trainer now and make a plan. Maybe go back hurdling or hunter chasing. Wasn’t Darragh brilliant on him, he’s a smashing lad. I’m thrilled for him.”
Back in April 2012, Overbury Prince under Pat Collins won a split of the 5-year-old geldings maiden at Inch only to rightly or wrongly lose it in the steward’s room. He then had some very smart bumper form behind Golantilla and King Shabra as well as some useful hurdle form behind Black Hercules, but he has had his day now and well done to connections for keeping the faith.
The John Mullane trained Bluebell Sally (3-1) was 7L clear under Chris O’Donovan when she tipped up four out in the mares maiden and to be fair, she looked poised for victory. Her demise saw both Humps and Bumps (4-7) Chris Cullinan along with Some Bite (3/4/2) James Hannon as the main principals from this stage.
Turning in, it looked as if Hannon only had to press the button. However, she was deliberate over both the third and second last obstacles whereas Humps and Bumps in receipt of 5lbs was putting her track experience to good use at this stage under Chris Cullinan and the daughter of Court Cave duly went on to score by 3L.
This was Cian Cullinan’s (21) second winner in his career to date having scored on Spuds Trouble last term.
The winner is trained by Wicklow town-based Peter Croke – of this lady he said: “She’s a good mare and Cian was good on her, we have no great plan. I will talk to the owner Maurice Sheehy (also breeder) and go from there. I am training our of Maurice’s yard and I recently put in a new John Ormond five furlong hill gallop and changed to Bluegrass feed and so far all is well. I have a few pointers in and 4 or 5 for the track.”
ONE TO FOLLOW
Bluebell Sally (John J Mullane) – this 7-year-old progeny of Shantom will take beating. With a clear round of fencing she was unlucky here tipping up four out and looks one to keep on side.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“I never saw any one of the last three fences with the sun” – Roger Quinlan after winning the mares winners of two.
“His father (Billy) rode a winner for me as well. Jaysus I’m getting old” – Pat Doyle after Evan Dwan rode the winner of the 5-year-old geldings maiden for him.
BOULTA / WEST WATERFORD
The West Waterford point to points due to be staged at Boulta on Saturday next has been postponed until Sunday, December 16 where it will be a standalone fixture.
1 Shan Blue, R Quinlan. 2 Hurling Magic, JC Barry. 3 Murphy’s Law, T Hamilton. 4 Atigun Pass, D Allen. Distance: 1 3/4L, 4L, 10L. (9 ran) (Andy Slattery)
5-YEAR-OLD GELDING MAIDEN
1 Myrons, E Dwan (11-11). 2 Ran Rite, R Deegan. 3 Clonguile Way, E Mahon. 4 Mr Charvet, Pa King. Distance: 4L, 3/4L, Distance. (9 ran) (Pat Doyle)
5-YEAR-OLD & UP MARES MAIDEN
1 Humps and Bumps, C Cullinan (11-6). 2 Some Bite, JW Hannon. 3 Poor Auld Jess, E Mahon. 4 She’ll Be Back, R Deegan. Distance: 3L, 20L, 1L. (9 ran) (Peter Cooke)
WINNERS OF TWO (MARES)
1 The Crafty Touch, R Quinlan. 2 Cubanera, T Love (11-11). Distance: 4L. (2 ran) (Andy Slattery)
OPEN LIGHTWEIGHT (NOVICE RIDERS)
1 Samanntom, Ms S Doyle. 2 Cloudy Morning, MJ Sweeney. 3 Cassells Rock, BT Stone. 4 Follow The Moon, RJ Daniels. Distance: 12L, Distance, 2L. (7 ran) (Pat Doyle)
6-YEAR-OLD & UP MAIDEN
1 Overbury Prince, J Allen. 2 Mustmeetforapint, E Mahon. 3 Peter The Butler, MC O’Donovan. 4 Abbey Jane, JW Hannon. Distance: 1L, 4L, 15L. (6 ran) Terence O’Brien)