Report by Dan Walsh at Ballycrystal, Kiltealy; A heavy frost on the high ground delayed the start of racing at the new track at Ballycrystal by half an hour, however, the crowds packed in, and afterwards everything went to plan with handler Denis Murphy and rider Jamie Codd sharing a treble.
Beatthebullet carried the Murphy-Codd partnership on the road to a treble with a four lengths margin to spare in the Winners of Two race. The six-year-old who previously won at Lingstown in November runs in the colours of Alan Harte.
Next in the winners’ enclosure was the aptly named mare Born In Borris, bred by Morgan Kavanagh of Borris House, who left the opposition trailing twelve lengths when scoring impressively in the maiden race for six-year-old mares. “She improved mighty,” said The Ballagh handler and she may be for sale or go for a ‘mare’s winners’.
Five runners faced the starter for the confined maiden race – four of the trained by the Doyle’s – but it was Murphy and Codd again who proved the strongest with Breakeven who finished four lengths to the good.
Credit for training the first winner over the new Ballycrystal track goes to Michael Murphy, Redbridge Stables, Duncormick, with Too The Future who mastered the 11-runner contest with a two lengths victory. A fifth career winner for Tiernan Power Roche from Tomhaggard.
Colin Motherway was a familiar rider on the south-east circuit when he rode many winners for Denis Murphy, but now he is back in his native Cork as a handler, and he was very happy with a Wexford victory when The Bees Knees was the five lengths winner of the maiden race for five year old geldings. Owned by Padraic Coffey from Tipperary, The Bees Knees was a winner for Wicklow rider Brian Lawless.
Conor Blake, (18), from Bagnalstown and associated with the Aidan Fitzgerald stable, rode his first winner on Lesser for the O’Donnell family from Gowran, Co. Kilkenny, by six lengths in the maiden race for six-year-old and upwards geldings. 93 years old Kevin O’Donnell and his good wife were amongst the family members celebrating a fine success. “We have only two horses in training. This was a warmup for the track,” said Kevin O’Donnell junior.
The Ballinagore Harriers and their team of volunteers and supporters done an excellent job in getting the new track up and running. There was nothing but praise all round from the owners, handlers, riders and spectators and chairman John Leacy thanked everybody over the public address for their contribution to the success of their inaugural fixture. The land was kindly provided by Matthew Flynn O’Connor and his family.
Mt Leinster Gold, owned by renowned tenor Anthony Kearns from Kiltealy and trained by his neighbour Colin Bowe held an entry on the home track at Ballycrystal, but decided to travel to the Killeagh races instead where he scored by one and a half lengths. Barry O’Neill was on board the Ronan Tynan bred mare who has now won two of her three races and she will continue pointing throughout the current season.
A short head was enough to provide Ocean Point with a fine success in the mares’ maiden race for novice riders at Killeagh point-to-point in Cork. Trained by Martin Corrigan, Blackwater, and ridden by his younger brother, Kevin, Ocean Point may now be offered for sale.