Thrilling finishes at Monksgrange

SEAN O’ROURKE (Old Style Humor) and BERTIE FINN (Tara Cove) dead-heated for first place at Monksgrange today.

By Dan Walsh at Monksgrange

A dead-heat in the Winner of Two race for novice riders was the highlight on day of close finishes and reliance on the photo finish camera at the Bree Hunt annual point-to-point races held in Spring-like conditions at Monksgrange, Rathnure, this afternoon.

Colin Bowe trained Tara Cove ridden by Bertie Finn, Oulart, and Old Style Humor from Sean Doyle’s yard and Sean O’Rourke could not be separated on the line. It was the eighth career winner for Bertie Finn, but a first success for Sean O’Rourke from Ballybeg, Ferns. There was a dozen length gap and a dead-heat for third place in the same race shared between Garm Colombe (Troy Walsh) and Well P (Eoin Middleton).

Colin Bowe saddled a double when Captain Butler (Barry O’Neill) beat Captain Wallace (Jack Hendrick) in a ‘short head’ verdict after a terrific finish to the maiden race for five year old geldings.

Ballybough Aine from Ian McCarthy’s Kildangan, Co. Kildare, stables had ‘a head’ to spare when winning the maiden race for four-year-old mares with the Pa King ridden mare getting the better of the locally trained favourite Joueuse Royale for Colin Bowe and Barry O’Neill.

Michael Goff from Clondaw, Ferns, saddled San Frandisco (Mikey Sweeney up) running in the colours of Caitriona Goff who came home four lengths to the good in the maiden race for four-year-old geldings.

Florencethemachine was an impressive winner of the maiden race for five-year-old and upwards mares race Naas trainer Alan Donoghue and Kilkenny rider Troy Walsh. The winning margin was three lengths.

Peter Maher’s Kildare stables supplied Jet Fighter with Benny Walsh, Tomhaggard, in the saddle, who grabbed a ‘short-head’ victory over Colin Bowe’s  Seattle Seahawk (Barry O’Neill) in the maiden race for six-year-olds and upwards geldings. Maher said Jet Fighter will be aimed at the Bishopscourt Cup at the Punchestown festival next month.

It was a great day’s racing. Exciting finishes. Good attendance. The track rode well. Back to Monksgrange for another day’s point-to-pointing on Sunday, April 23rd. Mark the date in your diary.

Racing also today at Ballynoe, Co. Cork, where Donnchadh Doyle was on the scoresheet. He trained newcomer Illico De Cotte who scored by twelve lengths under Alan Harney in the maiden race for five-year-old geldings.

Another Wexford handled winner at Loughrea, Co. Galway was Annie Express (Brian Lawless up) for Sean Doyle – across the card double for him today – by seven lengths in the maiden race for five-year-olds upwards mares.

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