Codd and O’Connor double up as Davy takes the Open.


The point to point bandwagon in the south east pulled into Co Kilkenny for the Kilkenny Foxhound meeting at Kilbline, Bennettsbridge today.Racing on land with the permission of the Williams family, the track has five fences reasonably tightly placed on each circuit putting the emphasis on quick and efficient jumping.

With the ground yielding to soft on the course the 92 entries saw a 56% declaration or 51 horses on the six race card.

With the “big guns” in the jockey world all booked to ride at the course it looked likely that we would have a shoot out or two between Jamie Codd, Derek O’Connor and Barry O’Neill.

They shared five of the six races with only Eddie Keating managing to raise a flag for the other jockeys and that was in the confined maiden for novice riders which they were not qualified to ride in in any case!

Ballylinch Stud sponsored the Open Lightweight with 7 horses declared to face the starter. This was a pretty competitive affair even in the betting ring as Davy From Milan, King Troy and Boxing Along were all on offer in and around the 7/4 to 2/1 mark.

After Gothic Love set the early pace, Paul Power took charge of the race up front on Boxing Along for Vincent Halley and tried to make it home in front for the Co Waterford partnership.

Mooncoin , Co Kilkenny based trainer Eoin Doyle had booked Barry O’Neill for the ride on Davy From Milan and they raced in third place most of the way behind the leading pair.

Jumping better than he did the last day at Affane the 7 year old Milan gelding struck the front about three fences from home and stayed on stoutly to beat the eye-catching run of Bee Fallon in second place with Boxing Along staying on for third place.

Speaking afterwards the winning trainer Eoin Doyle commented “He is a tough horse, the track may have been a little tight but he jumped well and is entitled to go for the Tetratema Cup at Gowran Park next”

This was the horses fourth win from seven outings between the flags and he seems to be going in the right direction for his Co Kilkenny trainer and his Carrick On Suir , Co Tipperary based owner Davy Phelan.

Some well known racing silks were in evidence at the track with the opening BBA Ireland 4 Year Old Maiden going to the well supported 6/4 favourite Fact File in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud. Racing in the hands of Jamie Codd the 4 year old Catcher In The Rye horse set the pace and jumping well he saw off the Michael Goff trained Red Devil Star and the Sean Doyle horse Court Dismissed by an easy 3 lengths with 6 lengths back to third.

With Gordon Elliott absent it was left to Simon McGonagle to comment” He is a lovely horse. He was a Tattersalls Ireland August Sale purchase. He travelled well and won going away”

This was a highly impressive debut over the two and a half mile trip and it would be no surprise to see the him hit the track next in a bumper for the Ryanair supremo.

Codd must have been happy with his start, but the the Co Wexford based man hit the floor in the next two races when falling on Star Rise and Born In Killeen.

With his Open Lightweight ride Ferris Bueller not really having a good day out Codd waited until the Connollys Red Mills 6 Year Old Gelding to strike again a record his double on board Kingscourt Native.

Trained in Co Kildare by Denis Cullen for one of his good owners Kieron Gammell, Kingscourt Native, a 6 year old son of Kings Theatre won at 5/4 favourite.

Jumping well for Codd, they trailed the longtime leader Tuskar Island most of the way as James O’Sullivan tried lead steal the race. Codd and Kingscourt Native were well up to the task however and they reeled them in turning towards the last fence and won very snugly.

Cullen was delighted afterwards and declared” That was a good performance, he was unlucky the last day at Nenagh. Our options are open, all our horses are for sale so we will see”

Derek O’Connor travelled to the south east in search of winners having been up north over the weekend and the Galway man didn’t leave empty handed scoring a nice double.

The 5 year old geldings saw only 8 horses declared from the original entry of 18 for the DBS @ Newbury 21st March 2014 sponsored race.

Barry Connell’s silks were worn here by Derek O’Connor on the Pat Doyle trained Deputy’s Pass. This 5 year old son of Scorpion , third at Lemonfield in October went off the 5/4 on favourite and just failed to catch the front running Warrantor for Jason McKeown and owner trainer Adrian Keatley.

With McKeown keeping his horse in front, O’Connor was five lengths adrift at the second last and challenging the leader after the last failed by half a length.

Following a lengthy enough stewards enquiry the placings were reversed with O’Connor, Connell and Doyle being awarded the race.

Speaking afterwards O’Connor commented ” He was the best horse in the race, he is talented , shows good acceleration and could go for a bumper next”

Warrantor is a horse to put into the notebook as well with Keatley unlucky not to saddle his first winner with the Turtle Island gelding.

O ‘Connors double came in the mares maiden for 5 and 6 year olds sponsored by Tattersalls Ireland and Rossenara Stud.

Riding All Eyes On Me for Shillelagh, Co Wicklow based trainer Sean Osborne, the 5 year old Catcher In The Rye mare came through in an incident strewn race to lead after the last to win.

The well supported favourite Isabellesprincess slipped up when a fence clear with a circuit to go, Toms Girl fell at the last when in front in addition to a couple more fallers opening the door for O’Connors power packed finish.

Home bred by Osborne and owned by his father Seamus, the mare will probably go for a winners race next according to connections.

The Osborne’s breed to sell and they inevitably race the fillies that remain. With 8 horses in training and many of them family owned the trick is to have some paying guests as well!

Racing concluded with the Ballyhane Stud sponsored confined maiden for novice riders.

Clonroche , Co Wexford based restricted licence holder Roy Tector has made a habit of winning this race and took it for the third time over the years this time with Clearly Capable. This home bred 5 year old son of Bienamado was positively ridden from the front by Eddie Keating to justify favouritism.

Tector was quick to praise the young, Gusserane, New Ross based Keating as not only did he ride the horse, but he had done all the work on him for the past three weeks due to a hunting injury that Tector sustained.

Falling when out hunting with the Wexford Foxhounds, Tector cracked a rib with his mobile phone in his breast pocket!

None the worse for it now the horse, well named , Clearly Capable , could be sold to race in Britain as previous horses including Bobcatbilly have from Tector’s yard.

With honours shared , the crowd maybe a little light on the ground due to the hurling match in Nowlan Park, backed a nice few favourites to justify the trip.



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