By Dan Walsh
Four point-to-point winners shared between the champions Barry O’Neill and Colin Bowe at Tralee today sending both well on their way to retaining their respective championship crowns, but the day was extra special for Colin Bowe – he saddled his 400th point-to-point career winner!
The dynamic duo got off the mark in the four-year-olds mares’ maiden race with Havenella in the colours of Milestone Bloodstock Ltd coming him by two lengths. Next up was the Walter Connors owned Givega, also by two lengths, in the contest for five-year-old geldings’ maiden race. Leo McArdle’s Branson Missouri gave the O’Neill-Bowe partnership success number three with a 10 lengths victory in the mares’ Winner of Three race – and the magic four for both the handler and the rider came in the final race – the maiden race for geldings’ – six years old or older -with Sullivan’s Brow sporting the colours of the No Negative Partnership by three lengths.
Earlier the Denis Murphy newcomer City Chief and Luke Murphy, Gorey, took the maiden race for four-year-old geldings’ in a tight finish -three quarters of a length- depriving another O’Neill-Bowe challenge with Knowsley Road.
There was also Sunday point-to-point action on the second day at Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary, where the four-year-old geldings’ maiden race was won by newcomer Andy’s Flame for Caitriona and Michael Goff, Mongeer, by a neck to give Liam Gilligan his seventh success of the season and puts him one ahead for the under 21 riders’ title.
Miss McGugan was a 12 lengths winner for the Walsh family of Preban, Tinahely, in the maiden race for six-year-old mares. Twelfth winner of the season for rider James Walsh, who is lying fifth in the riders’ championship, and fifth winner of the season for James Edward Walsh, matching his previous training best in the 2018-19 season.