By Dan Walsh at Fairwood Park, Tinahely
Two winners for handler Denis Murphy of the Ballyboy Stables, The Ballagh, were the highlights of today’s point-to-point action at Fairwood, Tinahely, where the weather defied “a terrible forecast” and escaped with a scattered shower and no wind of any consequence.
Murphy saddled up French-bred The Same in the maiden race for six-year-old geldings and a 29 lengths victory under rider Harley Dunne. This was followed in the Winners of One race and a 23 lengths success for Chatshow Host ridden by Luke Murphy (no relation) from Inch who was recording his 65th career success.
Sean Doyle, Monbeg Stables, Ballindaggin, enjoyed six and a half lengths success with Sous Les Rose in the maiden race for five-year-old mares ridden by Jamie Scallan from Tomhaggard. It was Sean Doyle’s 120th career victory as a handler.
Local handler Philip Rothwell won the maiden race for six-year-olds with Legacy Of Dreams confidently ridden by Phidelma Elvin, a native of Kildare now living in Carnew and working at the Rothwell stables. “It was a good day, but could have been a great day,” said Rothwell afterwards, a reference to a fine effort by Agirlcalledchloe, also ridden by Elvin, in the mares maiden race earlier in the afternoon.
Barry O’Neill was reunited with Samcro in the Open Lightweight Race and the Camilla Sharples owned and Gordon Elliott trained gelding gave an exhibition of class and ability to sail home 32 lengths clear of the opposition.
Samcro (then trained at Kiltealy by Colin Bowe) and Barry O’Neill won their maiden at Monksgrange in April 2016, he was then sold and competed at the highest level and finished 11th in the 2022 Aintree Grand National won by Noble Yeats. Now 10 years old, Samcro is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the open races this point-to-point season and, possibly for many seasons to come if he stays healthy.
Veteran rider Derek O’Connor teamed up with Enda Bolger, who trains at Bruree, Co. Limerick, to win the maiden race for four-year-olds with Kilballyowen, beating the Colin Bowe trained Ihandaya (Barry O’Neill) by one and a half lengths.
The Island Hunt races next Sunday, October 23rd at Ballycrystal, Kiltealy.