Ballindaggin handler Sean Doyle took to the new track at Knockmulllen, New Ross, today in winning style with a brace of winners in favourable ground and weather conditions and before a good-size crowd.
The Forge Hill was unlucky when falling at the last fence at Tinahely last month while in the lead, but the mare finished the strongest up the hill today and scored by ten lengths under Jordan Gainford, Caim, in the colours of the Monbeg Partnership, in the five-years-old and upwards adjacent race for the Wexford Hunt Perpetual Cup with only three of the six starters getting a clear round.
Afterwards Sean Doyle recalled how she was unlucky the last day in Tinahely and added “she won well and will go to the track now.”
Doyle’s double was achieved in the Ballywalter Farms Open Lightweight Race where My Story, ridden by Jamie Scallan, Tomhaggard, got the better of the Liam Kenny trained Undressed by three quarters of a length in a pulsating finish.
Racing got underway with the maiden race for four-year-olds, Visionarian was made favourite, and with James Kenny in the saddle ran out the two lengths winner that keeps Colin Bowe at the top of the handlers table.
Bowe was in Dromahane where Sleepysauras won the first division of the maiden race for four-year-olds with Barry O’Neill up, and missed the sweet New Ross victory, but Jim O’Neill, stable representative, said afterwards; “He is a smart horse and he’s for sale.”
Mr Mantilla, home-bred and having his first ever run, was impressive in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings, and following a two lengths success James Devereux, Rostoonstown Stud, Broadway, was presented with the James G.B. Boyd Memorial Cup by Jennifer Boyd. Vincent Devereux and Shane O’Rourke were victorious handler and rider, respectively.
Vinnies Nephue was the winner of the Cooney Furlong Winner of One Race by eight lengths for Carlow handler William Murphy and rider Moira McElligott.
The Horse & Hound maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards went to Goulane Jessie and the Cork duo of Seamus Spillane (handler) and Johnny Hurley (rider). The winning distance was one and a half lengths.
The new track found universal favour with both the racegoers and the competitors, Wexford Hunt had done a great job for the course layout and the hard surface at the entrance was appreciated by motorists, who turned up in good numbers. The land was kindly loaned by the Doyle family of Knockmullen House.
In other racing news, Liz Doyle, Kitestown, Crossabeg, saddled newcomer Eklat De Rire, in the colours of Glen Howlitt, in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings, and with Finian Maguire up, snatched victory by a neck at Dromahane, in Cork.
Next Sunday the Wicklow Foxhounds point-to-point will take place at Shillelagh & District Hunt’s track at Fairwood, Tinahely, and the first race is off at 12 noon.