Irish Pointing Weekly Review
by Declan Phelan

Week Five - Comber, Dungarvan & Nenagh 27 & 28/1/2001

There was 4 meeting scheduled for the weekend, but the meeting at Ballon was postponed due to fog.

Sat 27th January

The first Northern meeting took place at Comber,County Down on Saturday. The number of runners was disappointing, with 6 races. Jockeys Leo Gracey(3) and Davy Russell(2) dominated the afternoon.

On a crisp cold day the going was good to soft.

The 2 most impressive winners were Arrienzio (9 Black Minstrel) who won the Open very easily (a race in which the favourite Flashy Lad picked up an injury that will probably put an end to his racing days), and in the 5 year old maiden Shane Donohue's Gothic Lord outclassed the rest with a dominant performance. This was Gothic Lord's second run in 6 days, as he was bang in contention when falling upsides eventual winner Merlo at Castletown Geoghegan the previous Sunday. Gothic Lord is bound to succeed on the racecourse proper.

Race1--7yr Geldings Maiden

1--Another Profile (L Gracey)

Race2--5yr Mares & Geldings
1--Gothic Lord (R Lavery)

Race3--Open (no pens)
1--Arrienzio (D Russell)

Race4--6/7 Mares Maiden
1--Bellaney Lady (L Gracey)

Race5--6 yr Geldings Maiden
1--Boyne Banks (L Gracey)

Race6--8 yr Mares & Geldings Maiden
1--Balnagreine ( D Russell)

Sunday 28 January

Right Handed track. Excellent viewing looking down on the track from a natural hillside. All races about 3 miles 2 furlongs, 15 fences per race. Each race commences at the entrance to the home straight, the runners pass the winning post to be greeted with the first of 2 fences in the straight, then they turn right handed to the backstraight and 2 more fences, before the 5th and final fence which is on the turn out of the backstraight, on the final circuit there is a long run in of 2 furlongs, with about 1/2 furlong from the last fence to the home straight and 1and 1/2 furlongs on flat in homestraight to line. This track has stiff fences and tests a horses staying power, and has long been regarded as one of the best pointing tracks in Ireland, producing many notable performers over the years.

The going was heavy.

There were 6 contests scheduled but with the first dividing, we got 7 races.

Race1--5 year old Geldings Maiden Div 1
13 runners. A race with a number of choicely bred individuals contesting.

Michael Hourigan's Tobair Padraigh (Cashel Court) who was second on its debut a fortnight previous in a modest event at Askeaton went to post the surprising 6/4 favourite, 4/1 bar.

Liam Cashman introduced Dantes Promise here. This Phardante 1/2 brother to Strong Promise, was up front when he took a soft fall at the 5th fence. Going out onto the final circuit Over Anxious,Jordans Lad and Noble Buck led a tightly grouped field ahead of Tobair Padraigh, Valleymore and Ask Henry. Going away from the second last the latter 3 were in trouble. But on the turn to the final fence Over Anxious swerved to his left and ducked out, this probably distracted Noble Buck who fell at the last when left in the lead, and in turn he brought down Jordans Lad who was just behind him. The upshot of all this drama was that Tobair Padraigh, Valleymore and Ask Henry, were left to fight it out on the long run in, with Ask Henry staying on best of all, with Liam Burke stablemate     Valleymore just holding Tobair Padraigh for second.

Ask Henry would definitely not have won but for the incidents around the final fence, but this Jolly Jake 1/2 brother to Valley Henry stuck to his task well on the run in and is open to improvement, but I think on this performance he will be a long way short of the quality of his 1/2 brother. 

The second Valleymore another son of Jolly Jake looked nothing special and should collect an ordinary maiden in time, maybe one to avoid next time. The favourite Tobair Padraigh looked distinctly modest on this run, but he does jump very well and that will stand to him.

Over Anxious who I discussed after his debut at Dromahane(1/1/2001), again showed his wayward tendencies, but he would have won but for his antics, and there is no doubt that this Tom Costello trained close relation to Into The Red will make a more than decent racecourse chaser in time. In the interim he should temperament permitting win his maiden at Wexford in a fortnight, his next expected port of call.

John Queally's newcomer Noble Buck (Buckskin) showed plenty on his debut and cannot be blamed for his last fence fall as Over Anxious definitely unnerved him. Again a maiden success looks  a formality for Noble Buck, and  the chances of a successful racecourse career looks good, a bumper may fall his way.

Jordan's Lad would have been placed 2nd at worse but for being brought down at the last. This Wexford trained son of Camden Town had fallen early on his debut at Tinahely(14/1/2001), but looked to enjoy the testing conditions here and with improvement may collect a maiden on his local circuit.

2 others that hinted at ability were the debutants Coonogue(Jurado) from Padge Berry's team and Jimmy Mangan's Dantes Dozen (Husyan) who were both pulled up.     

Race1--5 year old Geldings Maiden Div 2.
Again 13 runners. Dromahane 4th Beechbrook Gale from the Costello yard was the well supported fav (2/1-5/4). The Henry De Bromhead trained newcomer Passing Thyne(Good Thyne) was the solid 4/1 second fav.

3 newcomers Beef Or Salmon(Cajetano from M Hourigans), Lord N Master(Lord Americo) and River Paradise(John French) led the field on the first circuit. 

Beechgrove Gale(Toulon) was in mid division, but looking ill at ease on the heavy ground. At halfway the field were well grouped, but soon after Jimmy Mangan's Alpha Eight(Alphabetim) fell at the 10th. At the second last Beechbrook Gale came under pressure, and Beef Or Salmon and River Paradise went clear on the way to the last. Here the Hourigan horse Beef Or Salmon fell leaving River Paradise clear and he won a shade cosily from the strong finishing 2nd Cashman newcomer Euro Alert (Eurobus), with Beechgrove Gale a one paced 3rd.

The winner River Paradise is a giant of a horse and looking at him in the parade ring he looked as green as grass. A cheap purchase for ?2,500 in August, this Finbarr Sheehy trained newcomer produced a staying performance here, but I remember many moons ago commentating when Mr Mulligan won its point to point at Nenagh, and River Paradise has many of the qualities I would associate with Mr Mulligan. Given normal luck and the patience of a top handler this horse could prove himself right out of the top drawer.

The runner up Euro Alert stayed on from a long way off the pace to get second but he looks a small type, possible for Uk gaff tracks under light weights.

Beechbrook Gale will prove more effective on better ground and should atone shortly.Beef Or Salmon looks no worldbeater but should win a maiden on the Limerick circuit.

Of the others Passing Thyne was not knocked about but on this run it would be difficult to gauge his ability. The Liam Burke trained newcomer Fowler (Shardari) running in the Paul Barber colours showed little, but the Aiden Kennedy trained debutant Lord N Master showed up well until dropping out on the final circuit. Lord N Master is a fine strapping son of Lord Americo who when he strengthens up a little should be a solid staying 3 mile chaser. 

Race2--5/6 Mares Maiden
18 runners. Dromahane runner up
The Ould Boreen(6 Good Thyne) was the 5/2 favourite with Spice Rose(6 Commanche Run) the 4/1 second fav.

Ardkilly Angel(5 Yashgan) (who was making her pointing debut,but was down the field in 2 bumpers) set a strong pace and had a 10 length lead going out onto the final circuit, Lady Ardmore was giving chase but she fell at the 4th last and brought down 3 other pursuers including Spice Rose who was  travelling well. The Ould Boreen avoided the melee at the 4th last and gave chase to Ardkilly Angel. The favourite got on terms on the long run in and went on to score by 5 lengths from Misty Native(6 Be My Native) who deprived Ardkilly Angel of second.

Spice Rose should make up for her bad luck here in the coming weeks.

Race3--Winner Of 2
7 ran. Supreme Citizen(9 Supreme Leader) who chased home Wap at Kilfeacle last week was the 6/4 fav, he was in trouble at halfway and pulled up soon after. Mr Perkupp led until headed by both Glen Bree Native and Aibitir approaching 3 out. Eoin Gallagher kicked the Dromahane winner Aibitir(3/1) clear and he came home 6 lengths to the good from Glen Bree Native.

Aibitir (6 Alphabetim) is progressing well, clearly enjoying the more testing conditions here as compared with Killeagh last week, his jumping needs tidying up, but more wins await.

Race4--Confined Hunt Race
7 Ran. The Costello trained Sir Mark Brunel(6 Over The River) who caught the eye at Lisgoold was the 1/1-6/4 fav. Opposition in the ring came from newcomer That's Not Funny(7 Camden Town)  5/1-2/1, with Rian Bo Padraig(7 Mazaad) 5/1 the third choice of the punters.

Rian Bo Padraig set a searching gallop with Sir Mark Brunel chasing. At the 3rd last That Not Funny was out of contention after a series of mistakes. The other pair had a terrific duel with Tony Costello putting Sir Mark Brunel's head in front on the line.He will have to improve to win another race, the runner up Rian Bo Padraig who jumped solidly may just win a weak point, maybe not, time will tell.

Race5--Open (Penalties)
8 ran. False Tail(1/2-1/4) carried 13 stone here conceding one stone all round to a bunch of generally clapped out opponents. He easily delivered the goods, scoring by an eased down 5 lengths from the 13 year old Ashley Heights.

False Tail is now qualified for the Cheltenham Foxhunters.He definitely has an engine but on this performance and his last one at Aghabullogue, his jumping is suspect and will find him out at the top level.

Race6--7 year old Geldings Maiden
11 ran. After the success of False Tail in the previous race trainer and jockey combination of Gerry Cully & Damien Murphy teamed up here with the 4/7 fav Forest Thyne. This ex  David Nicholson trained gelding had been brought down at Aghabullogue and was confidentally expected to atone. He was prominent throughout but was challenged by the Mouse Morris trained Hurton(Glacial Storm) approaching the last. Both flew the last but Forest Thyne had the advantage of the inside berth turning into the homestraight and after a titanic struggle and held on by a neck. Forest Thyne can be placed to collect a winners race possibly on the West Cork circuit.  Hurton is bound to atone shortly.The remainder of the field looked poor.

Race 1 Geldings Maiden 5 yr. Div 1.

(1) Ask Henry (D O Donovan)
(2) Valleymore
(3) Tobair Padraigh
13 ran.

Race 1 Geldings Maiden 5yr. Div 2
(1) River Paradise (J McGrath)
(2) Euro Alert
(3) Beechbrook Gale
13 ran.

Race 2 Mares Maiden 5/6 yrs.
(1) The Ould Boreen (J Collins)
(2) Misty Native
(3) Ardkilly Angel
18 ran.

Race 3 Winners of Two.
(1) Aibitir (E Gallagher)
(2) Glen Bree Native
(3) Mr Perkupp
7 ran.

Race 4 Confined Maiden 5yr+.
(1) Sir Mark Brunel (T Costello)
(2) Rian Bo Padraig
(3) Coole Lady
7 ran.

Race 5 Open Lightweight
(1) False Tail (D Murphy)
(2) Ashley Heights
(3) Desertmore
8 ran.

Race 6 Geldings Maiden 7 yr only.
(1) Forest Thyne ( D Murphy)
(2) Hurton
(3) Bucringboy
11 ran.

They raced on a new track at Nenagh on Sunday. The going was Soft/Heavy.

JT McNamara followed his treble last week with another here, where 2 divides resulted in an eight race card.

Feature of the day was the victory of Lucky Town who fought off the persistent challenge of the mare Instant Queen(8 Executive Perk). This was Lucky Town's first point run in over 5 years, future plans are fluid, but a possible tilt at the Aintree Foxhunters could be on the card. I will know more when I speak to trainer Enda Bolger during the week. Instant Queen arguably the best pointing mare of last season looks to have retained her ability and can certainly win open events and possibly even a hunters chase.

JT also scored on The Arches(6 Petoski) who outbattled Killeagh runner up Ariann Sound and JT collected on his uncle Andrew's Native Tipp(7 Be My Native).

Brian Moran a nephew of Michael Hourigan also had a treble scoring on the exposed Muskerry Express(11 Torenaga) and Samac(5 Le Moss). In the opening winner of one Moran collected for the second time this season on Lord Reynella(6 Lord Americo). This impressive Askeaton winner handled the step up in company well and clearly is a good staying type in testing conditions.

Brian Harding's younger brother Richie had his first winner on the mare Coravella(7 Yashgan).

The best finish of the day was in the 5 year old geldings race where the Flavin trained Aris Agus Aris (Aristocracy) just got the better of Back On Schedule. These two went at it hammer and tongs for the final mile and when they get over their exertions a bright future for both lies in store.

Incidentally 'Aris Agus Aris' is the Gaelic for 'Again And Again'.

Race 1 Winner of One

(1) Lord Reynella (B Moran)
(2) Danesfort Hall
(3) Promatteuse
9 ran.

Race 2 Geldings Maiden 5 yr only.
(1) Aris Agus Aris (J Carroll)
(2) Back On Schedule
(3) Killargue Star
12 ran.

Race 3 Geldings Maiden 7 yr +  Div 1.
(1) Muskerry Express (B Moran)
(2) Much Birch
(3) Carrys Clover
11 ran.

Race 3 Geldings Maiden 7 yr +  Div 2.
(1) Native Tipp ( JT McNamara)
(2) Big Boy Sid
(3) Goumane Hill
11 ran.

Race 4 Open
(1) Lucky Town ( JT McNamara)

(2) Instant Queen
(3) Danikar
7 ran.

Race 5 Mares Maiden 5 yr +   Div 1
(1) Corabilla (R Harding)
(2) Doubles Partner
(3) Society Blue
15 ran.

Race 5 Mares Maiden 5yr + Div 2
(1) Samac (B Moran)
(2) Carnmore Cross
(3) Kristinas Lady
14 ran.

Race 6 Geldings Maiden 6yr only.
(1) The Arches (JT McNamara)
(2) Ariann Sound
(3) Buy A Bundle
13 ran.

Next Week
Sunday 4/2/2001

Carrigtwohill , Co Cork, 5 miles from Cork City one of the biggest meets of the year.12-30.
Ballon , Co Carlow, 12-30, rescheduled after postponement on Sunday.