By Dan Walsh
This afternoon’s racing at Bettyville Park went ahead in wet conditions after 8mm of rain fell overnight and the seven-race card was run safely with the locals featuring amongst the winners.
The aptly named Socially Distant (14/1) ran out a 16 lengths winner of the opening Wexford Mares’ Maiden Hurdle for Enniscorthy trainer Paul Nolan and his stable jockey Bryan Cooper.
Sean O’Keeffe from Taghmon teamed up with Conna trainer Jimmy Mangan to win the M2 Construction Wexford Novice Handicap Hurdle by one and three-quarter lengths with the Philip Rothwell trained McAlpine filling the runner-up spot.
O’Keeffe missed out on a double aboard the Liz Doyle trained 3/1 favourite Feelgood Island who finished second behind Bythesametoken (4/1) in the Micheal Ó’Murchadha Memorial Handicap Hurdle for Kilcullen trainer Ross O’Sullivan and ridden by Conor Orr.
Kilkenny trainer Eoin Griffin sent Jody Ted (18/1) from his Slieverue stables to the Eoin O’Gorman Solicitors Maiden Hurdle and it was a victorious visit with Mark McDonagh in the saddle.
Jockey Trevor Ryan from Thurles celebrated his 27th birthday with a winner – Whispering Waters (16/1) for Martin Brassil in the Arctic Tack Beginners Chase.
There was a small piece of history achieved in the Tomcoole Farms Ltd Beginners Chase. First winner for Denise ‘Sneezy’ Foster since taking over from Gordon Elliott last weekend with Defi Blue (4/1) for Gigginstown House Stud and jockey Jack Kennedy. “That’s a great start for Sneezy and long may it continue. Hopefully, we will have plenty of luck together now,” said Kennedy, who is booked for some of the top rides at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.
It was the final race of the day before a favourite obliged. The Gossiper (5/4 fav) trained by Emmet Mullins and ridden by Patrick Mullins won the bumper.