By Dan Walsh
The 2020-21 point-to-point campaign ended in celebration and sunshine at Grennan, Co. Kilkenny today with winners for three Wexford champions.
Barry O’Neill becomes National champion rider for the fifth time, and also made a piece of history by taking the titles in all four regions – north, south, east and west -for good measure!
O’Neill celebrated with a one and a half lengths success on Croi Corcra for owner PJ Fortune and handler Colin Bowe in the maiden race for four-year-old mares. His 54th winner of the season and runner-up was Jamie Codd on 19 winners.
Colin Bowe (44 winners for the season) clinched his 9th handlers’ championship with a double today. His second winner was Gold Buckle Dreams for Milestone Bloodstock Ltd by eight lengths in the mares’ maiden race for five-year-olds and over with James Kenny, Craanford, in the saddle.
Incidentally, the top four handlers’ are all from Wexford – Bowe (44), Donnchadh Doyle (25), Denis Murphy (19) and Sean Doyle (15).
Pearse Rogan started the day level with Liam Gilligan on seven winners each for the national under 21 riders’ championship but the young Caim rider got the vital eighth winner and the victory trophy aboard Secret Scripture for Donnchadh Doyle and the Monbeg Syndicate in division two of the maiden race for five-year-old geldings.
The season ended prematurely when the remainder of Grennan’s meeting was abandoned after the second division of the fourth race.
And so, the curtain comes down on a year of point-to-pointing held behind closed doors and under strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines, but fingers crossed that come the late autumn the crowds will return, and some sort of normal sporting action will have resumed!