By Dan Walsh at Ballycrystal
Conditions were testing at the Island Hunt point-to-point at Ballycrystal, Kiltealy, this afternoon but there was a good attendance, and the fixture went off safety with the six races won by six different handlers.
The four-year-old mares maiden race brought the first success of the season to Ellen Doyle from the Baltimore Stables at Coolgarrow, Enniscorthy, when Dollar Bae prevailed by an impressive 26 lengths with Brian Dunleavy in the saddle, deputising for regular stable rider John O’Neill who is out of action with a broken collarbone. Speaking afterwards, James Doyle said; “She is a smart filly. Not very big.”
Handler Mark Scallan, Cleariestown, who was absent and in Limerick, saddled Abegudsam, a first winner for Rathangan owner, Gavin O’Brien, by three and a half lengths in the maiden race for four-year-old geldings. The winning rider was Shane O’Rourke, Foulksmills, and 14 ran.
Five runners went to post for the maiden race for five- and six-year-old mares and provided a victory for owner/handler Martin Corrigan from Ballinaclash, Blackwater with Katlaur. Bred by Jonathan Hore at Mount Eaton Stud, Bridgetown, Katlur scored by three lengths and was the first leg of a double for 20-year-old rider Dan Nevin, who hails from Gowran, Co. Kilkenny, and is just ‘up the road’ from the track at Ballycrystal.
Nevin teamed up with Michael Murphy from Redbridge Stables, Duncormick, to win his second race of the day on Battle Frontier by two lengths in the maiden race for five-year-olds. The partnership shared success with Red River Valley in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings at Kinsale on Saturday.
The Open Lightweight Race was confined to lady riders and Tipperary-based Susie Doyle was successful on the family favourite Samanntom by three lengths beating off Liz Lalor on Drylow.
Colin Bowe saddled the winner of the final race – the maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards – Five Dollar Fine ridden by Craanford rider James Kenny who brought his career total to 25 ‘between the flags’. Six lengths were the verdict.
There were also point-to-point races at Rathcannon, Co. Limerick, today, and just one Wexford winner – first timer Maximilian by three lengths for Ballindaggin handler Donnchadh Doyle and Caim rider Pearse Rogan. The race was a maiden geldings contest for five-year-olds and upwards and Maximilian was best with three lengths to spare.