Luke Murphy was the jockey in form at Fairwood, Tinahely, where the Wicklow Hunt autumn fixture was run in ‘Spring-like’ conditions both on the ground and in the sky which was a contributory factor in small fields with only 33 runners turning out for the six races.
The Inch (Gorey) rider got the perfect start to the day with a comfortable twelve lengths winner aboard On My Wish List, running in the Baltimore Stables Syndicate colours for Monageer handler, Mary Ellen Doyle, in the maiden race for four year olds.
Bred by Tommy Newton, Bree, the son of Court Cave will be heading for the sales.
Murphy’s second winner of the day and his 20th career winner came in the Winners of Two race on Ballinasilla for Blackwater handler Bernie Murphy who has six horses in training for the season.
Ballinasilla won well by three lengths and will be aimed for ‘banks races’ with the long-term plan being a run in the prestigious Ladies Cup at Punchestown next Spring.
Jack Hendrick, (19), from Mayglass, enjoyed his first riding success aboard Would You Bypass, who had a ten lengths victory in the maiden race for five and six year old mares.
Winning handler Cormac Doyle said Jack rides out with the Monbeg team and “keeps the ride” when Would You Bypass goes for a “winners” on his next outing. Doyle confirmed he has 23 three year olds at home and a total of about 30 in training at the moment.
The maiden race for five and six year old geldings went the way of No Hidden Charges, trained by John Paul Brennan for his wife, Marie, and is one of sixteen in training at Monasootha Stables at Camolin. James Walsh from Preben, Shillelagh, riding his 34th career winner.
His two previous races at Loughbrickland and Ballinaboola “disappointed” his handler, but in this contest he did everything right and came home with a two lengths advantage. He is bound for the sales.
Only three horses turned up for the Open Lightweight Race and only two finished, but it was Barry O’Neill and Gordon Elliott who took the spoils by “a distance” with Kruzhlinin owned by Camilla Sharples, who rode a winner at Punchestown on Saturday and is a well-known member of the Meath-based Elliott team.
The ‘older’ maiden race confined to novice riders attracted seven entries and they all faced the starter. Bog Lane Baby, ridden by Moira McElligott and trained by her husband, William Murphy at Rathoe, Co. Carlow, was the winner, but there was only a neck separating the winner from Getaway Home who travelled from the Kildare stables of Peter McCreery and was the mount of Calvin Nugent.
There was an extra ‘novelty’ event after racing and four young riders took on the challenge of a pony race between members of Shillelagh and Wicklow Pony Club’s.
The winner was Wing Song Timeless and rider Aine Sharry from Clonegal showed great promise in the saddle – and why wouldn’t she?; being the grand-niece of Oylegate-born legendary trainer, Jim Bolger.
It was a great piece of excitement and fun and it was encouraging to note that a large section of the attendance didn’t leave the track until all the ponies came home safely!
Next week we saddle up for a day’s point-to-point action at lakeside Lingstown where the Killinick Harriers fixture gets under way at 12 pm.
The highlight will be the Open Lightweight Race over the famous ‘bank’s course’ and the entries close at 12 noon on Tuesday with Irish Point-to-Point Services (045 885622) or online at p2p.ie