By Dan Walsh
The respective handler and rider reigning champions, Colin Bowe and Barry O’Neill, each recorded a double at today’s (Saturday) point-to-point at Necarne, Co. Fermanagh, and are assured of retaining their titles when the season ends next month.
O’Neill and Bowe joined forces with Josie Alice for a one length success in the mare’s maiden race for five-year-olds plus and then something completely unusual occurred at the conclusion of the maiden race for gelding’s six-year-old plus.
The race ended in a dead-heat between Bourbon N Kentucky for Colin Bowe with Oulart rider Bertie Finn up and the David Christie handled Nevermindthestranger ridden by Barry O’Neill! This was O’Neill’s 360th career winner and 30 for the season for Bowe’s Kiltealy yard.
Tiernan Power Roche, Tomhaggard, won the maiden race for four-year-olds on newcomer Springt De La Mare for owner/handler Harley Dunne by two and a half lengths and off to the sales now.
Donnchadh Doyle saddled his 20th winner of the season when Great Pepper for the Monbeg Syndicate scored by three-parts of a length with Alex Harvey in the saddle in the Winner of Three race.
And it is worth acknowledging the great run of Flash de Touzaine from Liz Doyle’s Crossabeg stables in today’s Corals Scottish Grand National at Ayr. Ridden by Richie Deegan, who finished third, beaten three lengths and a neck behind the winner, Kitty’s Light (4/1 jt-fav).