By Dan Walsh
The final point-to-point fixture of 2021 took place at Dromahane, Co. Cork on Thursday with an extended nine-race card due to super entries and Wexford raiders made the journey and collected some well-deserved prizemoney.
Barry O’Neill won the Open Race on Mighty Stowaway for Gordon Elliott with four lengths to spare and the four-times champion rider embarks on 2022 with 22 victories, five ahead of his neighbour Rob James who is on the 17 winner mark.
Monageer handler Michael Goff brought his handling career total to 60, five of them this season, in his nine years of training when Rouge de L’Quest scored by two and a half lengths with Tom Hamilton up in division two of the maiden race for five-year-old geldings. The winner carried the familiar colours of Caitriona Goff.
John C. Byrne, who is based in the Kilmore area, was owner and handler of Young Darleen, who led from two out to take the maiden race for five- and six-year-old mares. This was the twelfth career winner for Cleariestown rider Barry Stone, three of them coming in the current season.
The 2022 point-to-point scene is unsettled following the difficulty in securing insurance cover following the withdrawal of underwriters from the market and already two planned fixtures at Tinahely on January 9th and Ballycrystal on January 16th have been cancelled.