Brilliant Barry at Ballycrystal

BRENDAN WALSH and COLIN BOWE discussing today’s point-to-point at sunny Ballycrystal.

By Dan Walsh at Ballycrystal

The leaders in the riders’ championship are pulling clear of the others as the season progresses following a brilliant treble for Barry O’Neill at Ballycrystal, Kiltealy, and a double for Rob James at Nenagh point-to-point races this afternoon. Champion O’Neill is on the 35-winner mark and James, who rode his 300th ‘points’ winner yesterday at Oldtown, Co. Meath, is on 29.

Barry O’Neill rode two of today’s victories for champion handler Colin Bowe who is also stretching his lead in a bid to retain the handler’s championship and is on the 17-winner mark.

Ben Solo put in a fine front running performance to score by four lengths in the maiden race for four-year-olds and Brechin Castle got home by a length in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings. O’Neill’s treble was achieved on Extrapolation by five lengths in the maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards for Cavan handler Shane Donohoe.

Sean Doyle’s consistent mare The Forge Hill recorded her eighth point-to-point victory by one and a half lengths under Tralee rider Ross Sugrue in the Open Lightweight Race confined to mares.

Paurick O’Connor made the journey from Galway a worthwhile event when he saddled Merry Melody with Eoin Mahon up to win the maiden race for five and six-year-old mares by one length and Daniel Hyde travelled from Cashel to win on the family gelding Focus Point by five lengths in the Winners of One race beating Tara Cove for the Colin Bowe/Barry O’Neill partnership.

Rob James won the first two races at Nenagh today. Beginning with Mossy Fen Park for Sean Doyle (across the card double for the Ballindaggin handler as The Forge Hill was successful at Ballycrystal) in the four-year-old maiden race by 18 lengths and half-an-hour later teamed up with Donnchadh Doyle on newcomer Beneficially Yours in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings and secured victory by nine lengths.

Golden De Couer was also a winner at the Tipperary track for handler Richard Black, Bunclody, in the maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards. Strolled home by 45 lengths under Luke Murphy from Inch, Gorey.

Ellen Doyle from Coolgarrow Lane, Enniscorthy, also saddled a double on the day – Woodbrook Boy ridden by Cara McGoldrick by 15 lengths in the Ladies Open Race at Nenagh and the maiden race for four-year-olds at Duhallow, Co. Cork, by six lengths with newcomer Doyen Magic with Brian Dunleavy up.

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