Barry O’Neill takes the eastern riders’ title


BARRY O’NEILL Won the eastern title today and is leading the national point-to-point riders’ championship.

Barry O’Neill had a brilliant day at Oldcastle, Co. Meath, today with three winners on a day when Wexford handlers and riders were in cracking form.
O’Neill got the leg up from Colin Bowe on Easyrun De Vassy in division one of the maiden race for four year olds and scored by a head for the Milestone Racing Partnership.
Larry Dunne’s Pogue, trained at the Kiltealy Stables, provided O’Neill with a 10 lengths success in division two of the geldings’ maiden race for five and six year olds.
The reigning champion joined forces with Sean Doyle on Asking A Lot in division two of the maiden for five and six year old mares and came home to the good by three and a half lengths.
Barry O’Neill has taken the eastern riders’ championship for the second time, his first title coming last year when the Ballindaggin rider brought Jamie Codd’s record breaking 11 consecutive to an end.
Jimmy O’Rourke had a double. He scored by one length on Illuminated Beauty, owned and trained by his father, Pat, at Silverspring, Bridgetown, in the first division of the maiden race for five and six year old maidens.
O’Rourke was back in the winners’ circle after guiding Shane Donohoe’s Sad Eyed Dylan to an eight lengths victory in division one of the maiden contest for five and six year olds geldings.
Michael Goff won the second division of the four year old maiden race with Cenotice, by three and a half lengths, with Shane Fitzgerald up And Rob James won the mares’ Winner of One with Piece A Cake, owned and trained by Kevin Heffernan.
Two days of point-to-point action at Necarne, where Friday evening’s races provided jockey Rob James and trainer Colin Bowe with a treble apiece.
James and Bowe combined to win the five year old geldings’ maiden race with Morraman and with Cushinstown Finest in the mares maiden for six year olds and upwards.
Bowe’s treble was achieved with Do You Know What in the five year old gelding’s race by six lengths with Barry O’Neill in the saddle. Bowe now has 26 winners and is level with his neighbour Donnchadh Doyle at the top of the handlers’ championship table. It was Barry O’Neill’s 50th winner of the season and he looks good to retain the title.
Rob James had his third success at the popular Fermanagh track aboard Miss Battan, trained in Tipperary by Pat Doyle, in the mares maiden race for four year olds.
The Saturday action returned to Necarne and Harley Dunne steered Howling Milan, in the colours of Jason Higgins, and trained by James Doyle, to a six lengths success in the maiden race for four year olds.
Barry O’Neill paired up with local trainer David Christie to win the Open Lightweight Race with Vinnie Luck by two and a half lengths.
For the second successive year The Irish Field sponsored Point-to-Point Awards will take place in Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford, on Saturday, June 9th. Tickets are available from Niall on 086 7907676.

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