Barry O’Neill tops at Lingstown

Veteran Vital Island won for the fifth time over the Lingstown banks today. He is seen here with the winning connections including Alex O’Keeffe (groom), Tiernan Power Roche (rider) and Richard O’Keeffe (handler). Vital Island will attempt to win the Ladies Cup at Punchestown for the second time next month.

By Dan Walsh at Lingstown, Tomhaggard

Champion rider Barry O’Neill was in brilliant form at Lingstown this afternoon where he rode a treble to further stretch his lead in the national point-to-point riders’ championship. Donnchadh Doyle saddled two winners at Lingstown and another at Belclare, Co. Galway, to record a treble on the day.

Barry O’Neill was aboard newcomer Mayor’s Walk for Colin Bowe in the maiden race for four-year-old mares who beat the Rob James handled Jasette D’Irelande (Brian Dunleavy up) in a tight finish – three quarters of a length the verdict.

BARRY O’NEILL.. three winners at Lingstown today.

O’Neill was back in the winners’ again following the maiden race for five-year-old mares and an easy 22 lengths victory on Banprionsa for Bunclody handler Richard Black.

O’Neill’s treble was completed on Lady In The Park for Dublin handler Tom Dreaper in the maiden race for five-year-old and upwards sponsored by the INHSC and confined to handlers with ten wins or less.

Handler Donnchadh Doyle and his rider James Walsh shared a double success at the lakeside track in south Wexford. First up was Jalon D’Oudairies by five lengths in the maiden race for four-year-old geldings followed by a one length victory on Incognito Fatal in the maiden race for five and six-year-old geldings.

Doyle made it an across the card treble when newcomer Romeo Coolio ran out the five lengths winner of the maiden race for four-year-olds at Belclare, Co. Galway. The Monbeg handler is now on the 17-winner mark for the season – three behind the leader and reigning champion Colin Bowe who has reached the 20 winner mark.

Vital Island is on his way to the Ladies Cup in Punchestown in April after winning the Open Lightweight Race ‘over the banks’ for the fifth time today. “All roads lead to Punchestown now,” said winning handler, Richard O’Keeffe, Newtown, Taghmon, who added: “He loves it around here (Lingstown).” Vital Island was ridden by local rider Tiernan Power Roche from Tomhaggard. Five lengths the verdict.

Owner/handler and rider combined, Harley Dunne on his return from injury enjoyed a six lengths victory when left in front at the penultimate obstacle in the maiden race for four-year-olds at Knockanohill, Co. Cork, today (Sunday).

Some results from yesterday (Saturday). Bertie Finn from Oulart enjoyed his first success of the season and his seventh career winner as the rider aboard Colin Bowe’s Tara Cove, and a two lengths victory in the Winner of One race at Kirkistown, East Down. “Going to a Winner of Two next,” said handler Bowe afterwards.

The famous Tetratema Perpetual Cup hunter’s chase was run at Gowran Park yesterday and victory for Ferns Lock, by three and a half lengths, and another success for Barry O’Neill and handler David Christie.

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