By Dan Walsh
Cheltenham winning rider Rob James has got off to a winning start in the 2021-’22 point-to-point season with a photo-finish success on first timer Secret She Keeps, whom he also trains at Killanne in the colours of the Matchmaker Syndicate, in the four-year-old maiden race at Castletown-Geoghegan, Co. Westmeath today.
It was a short-head finish with James’ mount getting the verdict over the Colin Bowe trained first time Essential Jaco, ridden by Barry O’Neill.
The O’Neill-Bowe partnership were compensated later when Red Vision gained a ten lengths victory in the maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards.
Barry O’Neill had a second victory when partnering Ballyadam for Downpatrick handler Brian Hamilton, one and a half lengths success, bringing his seasonal total to seven and only two weekends into the season.
Robert Tector, (27), Rathnure, had a memorable success with Sevenofus in the five- and six-years old mares maiden race. Owned by Neil Tector, this was Robert’s first winner as a handler and the successful rider was Jamie Scallan. One length was the verdict.