By Dan Walsh
Ballindaggin handler Sean Doyle made his own piece of point-to-point history today when he trained his 100th career winner – The Forge Hill – in the Mares Open Race at Stradbally, Co. Laois. The six lengths winner in the Monbeg Partnership colours was ridden by Duncormick rider Sean Staples.
Doyle is having his most successful season ever – 14 winners to date – and has been turning out winners for 14 seasons having recorded his first during the 2007-’08 season. He has also saddled a number of winners on the track. A popular figure in the bloodstock industry at home and in the UK Sean Doyle becomes a worthy member of the ‘century club’.
Michael Bates, who trains in the Kilmore area, saddled Coningbeg to win division two of the maiden race for mares of five years old and over. The verdict was three-quarters of a length and the successful rider was Tiernan Power Roche from Tomhaggard.
Shane O’Rourke from Foulksmills was also amongst the winners at the Laois venue. He was aboard Jetango for former Kilkenny hurling star Kieran Purcell by two and a half lengths in the maiden race for five year old geldings.
There was also point-to-point action at Ballindenisk today where champion handler Colin Bowe recorded a double success. The Kiltealy handler saddled newcomer Pimlico Point, a three lengths winner for Barry O’Neill in the maiden race for four year olds.
He added division two of the maiden race for five year old geldings when Arizona Cardinal came home two lengths to the good with Harley Dunne up. Second victory in as many days for Blackwater-based Dunne.
Division one went to newcomer Dibble Decker, owned and handled by John C. Byrne from Kilmore, who has four horses in his care. Two lengths were the verdict and the winning rider was Conor Moore from Kilmore Quay.