By Dan Walsh
Mayglass rider Jack Hendrick is having a brilliant season and a double at Ballyraggett today brings him onto the 16-winner mark for the season. Ballindaggin handler Sean Doyle also enjoyed double celebration at the Kilkenny track.
Hendrick was in the winners’ enclosure following the maiden race for four-year-old mares after Cormac Doyle’s newcomer Fancy Girl came home two lengths to the good.
Hendrick’s double came on Gary Murphy’s newcomer Ya Know Yaseff by three lengths in the maiden race for mares aged five years or over. Running in the Turbine Syndicate colours the Ballymitty handler indicated that Ya Know Yaseff will be heading for the sales.
Sean Doyle saddled Private Ryan in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings and with Jamie Scallan up gained a one length victory. Doyle’s double occurred in the Open Race for novice riders with Is A Real Champ ridden by Robbie Jackson who will be aimed at a hunters’ chase at Cork over Easter.
The father and son team of John Walsh (owner/handler) and James Walsh (rider) from Tinahely were also amongst the Kilkenny winners when newcomer Cash Book scored by three lengths in the maiden race for six-year-olds plus.
Cormac Farrell, Ballyprecus, Bunclody, travelled to Dunhallow, Co. Cork, for today’s point-to-point action and was successful in the maiden race for four-year-olds with newcomer Hurricane Highway with rider Simon Cavanagh. Ten lengths the verdict. Luke Murphy, Gorey, also tasted success at the Cork track. He was aboard his 60th career winner on Kilbunny Aplasia for handler Richie O’Hara and the partnership had ten lengths to spare in the maiden race for five year old mares.
Also Sunday racing at Belclare in East Galway and a five lengths victory for Leading Force in the Winner of Two race for Ballyduff owner Connie Rooney and handled by John Paul Brennan at Monasootha, Camolin. Sean Staples from Duncormick was the winning rider.
Barry O’Neill looked like riding a Cheltenham Festival winner on Friday as he lead the field up the straight in the Foxhunter’s Chase on the leader Winged Leader (David Christie) only to be caught on the nod at the finish line (neck verdict) by Patrick Mullins on Billaway, however, there was a small consolation at the North Tipperary fixture at Nenagh on Saturday when he won the five year old plus mares race on Annie Magic for Carlow handler Aidan Fitzgerald by ten lengths.
Meanwhile, Tiernan Power Roche from Tomhaggard teamed up with Philip Rothwell, Tinahely, to win the hunter’s chase at Down Royal on St. Patrick’s Day with Lawlor’s Choice at 50/1.