Whats on this Week?

On the Track:

12th Dundalk (e), 13th Clonmel, 14th Dundalk (e), 15th Punchestown , 16th Cork, Punchestown.

Point to Pointing:

15th North Down (F), 16th Dungarvan (H), Westmeath ( F) & Longford (H).

In the Sales Ring:

10th – 15th Tattersalls Ireland NH Sales 2014.

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Codd Doubles up at Ballinaboola as new kid on the block Need To Know takes the Open.

The Point to Point world is blessed to have access to a top quality venue like that at Moorfields, Ballinaboola in Co Wexford.

With good road access, ample parking and good on track facilities the Wexford Foxhounds have been fortunate in securing the venue from willing local landowners.

More importantly however in the greater scheme of things is the quality of the track with many well regarded “judges” continuing to give it positive reports.

The local hunt staged their Autumn fixture at the track and with an entry of 107 and a declaration of 71 saw the customary six race card delivered. With the ground officially described as yielding those horses hoping for a bit of quicker ground might well have been disappointed.

Heavy rain in the area on Thursday of last week obviously seeped into the ground with a dry sunny Saturday probably just making it a little on the dead side and undoubtedly more testing.

The highlight of the afternoon had been billed as the clash of Vital Plot , Mossey Joe et al in the Ballywalter Farm sponsored Open Lightweight.

John Brennan has never been afraid to challenge the bigger players over the years and he threw Need To Know into the mix with three other runners , seeing six horses face the starter.

For the second time this season , Need To Know a Definite Article 6 year old lowered the colours of better fancied opponents and ran out a 3/1 winner from Vital Plot and Lord Heatfield.

Liam Kennys ,Vital Plot and Enda Bolgers , Mossey Joe vied for favouritism with the Jamie Codd ridden Vital Plot just about shading it at even money and Mossey Joe at 6/4 under Brian Lenihan just before the off.

In such a small field, Lenihan chose to set the pace on the Barry Connell owned 11 year old son of Moscow Society.

Jumping pretty well most of the way Mossey Joe was followed by Vital Plot, Need To Know and the remainder from flag fall.

Still to the forefront at the fourth last the giant chesnut gelding seemed to have taken the measure of Vital Plot who had fallen back to third as Barry O’Neill tried to drive Need To Know to pass Lenihan and Mossey Joe.

From this vantage point, he was still travelling comfortably at this stage and looking likely to stay in front.

With the field swinging into the home straight, the picture changed totally, Mossey Joe started to back peddle as Need To Know struck the front with a resurgent Vital Plot getting back on terms.

This pair had a ding dong battle up the hill with a slightly wayward Need To Know staying on stoutly to win by 2 and a half lengths from Vital Plot with the only other finisher, Lord Heathfield staying on to be third.

The decision to hold a stewards enquiry was no surprise nor the decision to allow the placings to remain unaltered.

Speaking afterwards a slightly uncertain trainer John Brennan commented ” It was great to win, I’d have been happy to be in the first three, but I’m not shocked. I was going to run him again before the end of December, maybe at Wexford or in Borris, but maybe he might have a break now. He will go to Leopardstown in the New Year, but he is for sale , qualified for Cheltenham now so there is no rush’

Having beaten last years Point to Point champion , The Hollinwell at Tinahely and now taken the scalps of Mossey Joe and Vital Plot its probably time for everyone in the racing world to sit up and take notice of Brennan’s rising star with his trainer adding ” The ground just might have been a little dead today and the horse himself just might not have been as alive as normal”

What of the two favourites?

Vital Plot might not have been at home on the dead ground with three quick runs in succession, while Mossey Joe may have needed the run on his seasonal debut, but they will have to encounter Need To Know again and the new kid on the block might just have the legs of them!

Racing opened with the Englishfruitnursery.ie 4 Year Old Maiden. This race saw 11 runners with the Mayglass based brothers William and Jamie winning with the Milan gelding For Instance in the colours of Jean Codd wife of the winning trainer William.

This was a very open contest with five of them vying for favouritism early on at 2/1 in the betting ring. Brian Jordans Robinstown Bridge lead for most of the journey here under Mark Scallan and while only finishing fourth is one for the notebook.

They were still in front three from home but gave way to the persistent challenges of Pawn Star and Inchiquin All Star.

Jamie Codd however had been biding his time out the back on For Instance and while looking like needing the experience he accelerated to win snugly.

Speaking afterwards in the winners enclosure, William Codd stated “Its great that he won, especially being so green. He is a big horse that ran well in a British bumper in springtime. He goes to Cheltenham for the Brightwell Sales on Friday”

Jamie Codd had a double on the day having also won the Nitrofert Wexford Hunt Cup for 5 Year Old and Older Mares on Queen Of Milan.

This 6 year old mare is not overly big but she gave her winning owner/ trainer Blackwater, Co Wexford based David O’Brien his very first success having taken over the reins in the Point to Point yard.

Not winning out of turn , the mare has finished in the first four on all completed starts in the point to point fields, she was not far off the pace here and justified favouritism winning easily.

O’Brien commented ” She jumps well for a handy mare, she will be sold or let off till next summer”

Co Limerick based trainer Enda Bolger sent a team of horses to the Co Wexford venue and didn’t leave empty handed following the odds on favourite success of Rosstemple in the 5 Year Old Geldings Maiden.

Racing in the colours of Co Limerick based John Power and ridden by his son Kevin, the 5 year old son of Kayf Tara held on to win by a length from Jamie Codd on Mullinavat.

Bred by Jim Mernagh of Coolamurry Stud the horse traces back to such fine chasers as Royal Relief and Spanish Steps with Bolger adding “This is a great track where the best horse wins. He got a bit close to the last, but he is a lovely horse who showed ability since being broken. The dream is alive after this win”

A 6 year old son of Witness Box named Subtitle won his maiden at the January 2012 fixture here under Kiltrea native JJ Slevin, and the same horse and jockey combination popped up to win again , this time the Cooney Furlong Winners of Two.

The story of this race is very simple, Slevin popped the horse off in the front and having opened up a long lead no one could reel him back in.

Slevin obviously judged the pace very well but the other 6 runners looked like they might well have been too busy looking at each other and forgot about the leader!

Trained by the jockeys father Shay and owned by Co Westmeath woman Michelle Ryan plans for the horse are simple enough according to Slevin ” We will stay pointing and maybe take in a Hunters Chase, but he likes it here and enjoys good ground”

The most local winner of the day saw the Horse and Hound Hotel sponsored Older Geldings Maiden being won by Corrigs, trained and ridden by Eddie Keating.

Keating trains 3 horses for Michael and Tom Corcoran in Nash, New Ross and this home bred son of the Knockhouse Stud stallion, Millenary took this race impressively.

With 18 runners they were well strung out three fences from home with Cango making the best of his way home with the well fancied Court Frontier running on.

Keating however knows his horse well as they swept past all comers to win easily.

The exact same connections took this race last year with Subtle Ben, who was sold on to Liz Doyle and has won on the track since.

“This horse has some track experience and he might go back that way ” according to Keating.

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Wexford to race in a different direction in 2015 in a trial under the rules.

They just might be swinging to the left in 2015!

Wexford Racecourse will, after much chat and discussion, trial a race meeting at Bettyville going left handed.

Racecourse Manager, Michael Murphy confirmed during the week that agreement had been reached, ” To trial the new course under rules on St Patricks Day 2015.”

Confirming that the last test gallops had been carried out at the track on the 29th of October Murphy added ” We were very pleased with the day, Horse Racing Ireland and the Turf Club have agreed in principle with the proposed change at the track and we just have to ensure that the integrity services, including betting, television, photo finishes etc are all 100%”

Continuing Murphy added “The race meeting next St Patricks Day at Wexford will be a trial under rules with horses racing left handed and finishing in or around the sand road just beyond the old stand. Temporary fixtures and services will be in place for the day”

Concluding Wexford Racecourse Manager added “We are very pleased, this proposal has been much talked about , even since the early days at the track. Following recent advances and improvements at the track, we have moved from a 46 acre site to now covering in excess of 100 acres and have a 1 mile 3 furlong race track. We would hope that this trial if successful will see it becoming a permanent fixture”

Val O’Connell and some senior jockeys were seen walking the track on the October Bank Holiday Monday with Racecourse Management confirming the decision to stage the gallops.

Two gallops were staged during the test on Wednesday the 28th with fences placed in potential new positions, seeing a 2 mile,14 runner chase and an 11 runner bumper in addition to a number of shorter gallops being staged.

With many well known faces in attendance including Liz Doyle, Colm Murphy, Brian O’Connell amongst others the it looks like the positive vibes that came out of the morning will see a new direction for the track.

With racing now a worldwide sport due to television and other technologies, betting on race meetings at the track in the South East have been recorded as far afield as Asia the Racing Authorities will be keen to ensure that all arrangements will be in place so that the trial day under rules is properly refereed.

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Codd and Kenny’s Vital Plot might beat the weather and clash with Mossey Joe and Morito ?

The Point to Point fields will be busy this weekend with three meetings scheduled starting at Maralin today for the Iveagh Harriers meeting while Sunday sees racing at Kilworth for the Kilworth and Araglen meeting and the Wexford Foxhounds race at Ballinaboola.

The John McGovern sponsored Open Lightweight at Maralin sees 14 entries with David Christie holding three entries and Colin McBratney with two.

Christie has The Last Derby engaged , with that son of Anabaa , one of last seasons most prolific early seasons winners having to prove his return to form.

Interestingly McBratney , now has charge of Marito and the 8 year old German bred was last seen in action at Tramore on New Years day 2014 when winning the Listed Holden Chase.

Then in the care of Willie Mullins, the Co Carlow based trainer indicated at the time that when originally purchased in France he was seen as a replacement for Hurricane Fly!!!!

Now having switched owners and trainers , this multiple track winner could well be campaigned in this world for the coming season but he is now unlikely to reach those Hurricane heights!

If the 8 year old son of Alkade turns out this weekend connections are more likely to race up North rather than take the option of racing at Ballinaboola on Sunday where he also holds an entry.

The Open Lightweight there sponsored by Ballywater Farm has the potential of being the race of the weekend with Enda Bolger’s Mossey Joe , Liam Kenny’s Vital Plot and Gordon Elliott’s Current Exchange all listed in addition to Marito.

Kenny is almost 100% certain to run Vital Plot at the Co Wexford venue with the reigning riders champion Jamie Codd in the saddle. Already successful this season, he is fit and ready to run.

Heavy rain on Thursday and again forecast for the weekend might just scupper that plan but a run against Mossey Joe is a real possibility.

That horse has not been seen since being beaten at Cork by Oscar Barton but Bolger will probably have him race fit wherever and whenever he runs for Barry Connell.

The Open at Kilworth and Araglen has only 10 entries with Current Exchange , Paul O’Flynns , Nevskij and Eugene O’Sullivans ,Cork Citizen all engaged. All of these have disappointed one way or the other this season so far and they would all be on a retrieval mission of sorts at the Co Cork fixture in the Containment Service Providers race.

The entry levels at the three meetings is reasonably strong but any divides will be rare with only the 5 Year Old Gelding Maiden Maiden at Kilworth looking a strong possibility.

Get out and race if you can!!!

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A German, Aussie, Irish Cup win at Flemington in the Melbourne Cup.

Wexford was agog this morning as reports of a part Wexford win in the Melbourne Cup filtered through following the success of the Andreas Wohler , German trained horse Protectionist.

New Ross born men, Wally and Robert Power, now based in Sydney , Australia bought a part of the German bred Protectionist early this summer as part of the deal brokered by Australian Bloodstock partners Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell.

Protectionist a German bred son of Monsun last raced in Europe in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay when winning in the colours of his then owner/ breeder Dr Christoph Berglar.

Purchased subsequently by Australian Bloodstock and their partners he ran for the first time in their name at Caulfield in October having been shipped to Australia.

The Power brothers, whose father Ned has always been into racing and breeding , bought into the horse as did Fergie and Delia Doyle who also come from Co Wexford just outside of Gorey.

And Boy oh Boy what a buy!!!!!!

Ridden by the man of the moment Ryan Moore, the son of Monsun swept through the field to win from perennial runner up Red Cadeaux.

Coming from a stout staying family tracing back to the Daniel Wildenstein mare Pawnesse . He was an ideal purchase as his European winning form saw him start at the odds of 7/1 on the day.

Now switching to the Australian yard of Kris Lees, the Irish connection will continue as his German owner and trainer having been bought out.

But this was a truly International Triumph!

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Whats on this Week?

On the Track:

4th Fairyhouse, 5th Dundalk (e), 6th Thurles, 7th Dundalk (e), 8th Naas, 9th Limerick, Navan.

Point to Pointing:

8th Iveagh (F), 9th Kilworth and Araglen (F), Wexford (F).

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Oscar takes the Open with doubles for Doyle, Elliott, James, Power and Purcell at Kilkenny Point to Point.

What a Difference a Day Makes as Dinah Washington might say!!!!! The Kilkenny Foxhound meeting at Grennan Castle, Thomastown was held in pretty near perfect conditions with the scheduled six races being extended to seven to accommodate the one divide on the day.

With the ground at the track described as good to yielding , pretty extraordinary when you think of it on the first Sunday of November, the 119 entries stood up well enough at declaration stage with 83 horses facing the starter.

With Oscar Barton taking the Open under Tim Donworth and doubles for Gordon Elliott, Kieran Purcell, Paul Power, Sean Doyle and Rob James all adding to an enjoyable days racing.

Racing was competitive with the eagerly awaited Ballygallon Stud sponsored Open Lightweight seeing a very strong field of 14 runners facing the starter for this three mile contest.

With the Tim Donworth ridden Oscar Barton going off the 6/4 favourite, hopes were high that the Gordon Elliott trained 9 year old Oscar horse could add to his Loughbrickland win in October.

Derek O’Connor was given the leg up on Sean Aherne’s admirable mare Isourbell with the 12 year old veteran leading them all for over two miles as the others jousted and scrimmaged in behind.

The tight track and bends here might just lend itself to well balanced horses and front runners, with many horses finding it difficult to get into a rhythm.

O’Connor and Isourbell put in some great leaps as O’Muircheartaigh, The Hollinwell and Boxing Along raced in behind.

Eoin O’Sullivan and The Hollinwell were the first of these to give way as they struggled to jump with fluency and made some uncharacteristic mistakes.

All the while Donworth was racing in mid division with Oscar Barton taking the lead after the fourth last.

This move saw them stride clear and look like putting the race out of reach.

One final challenge was thrown down at the last as the Ross O’Sullivan trained Dantes King came out of the pack to momentarily mount an effort.

Oscar Barton still had 4 lengths to spare under the Co Limerick based amateur Donworth who must be looking forward to the rest of the season. Speaking afterwards Simon McGonagle representing the Elliott yard stated ” Sure they did it well. We will keep to Opens for the time being and look Hunter Chases in the spring” He did however confirm that the owners would be looking towards Cheltenham and Aintree as possible longterm objectives for the horse.

The Co Meath yard of Gordon Elliott did double up on the day when the Charles Flattery owned and bred Miss Dinamic made a successful debut in the Eoin Doyle – Horse Trainer 5 and 6 Year Old Mares Maiden under Jamie Codd. This Kutub 5 year old mare had some reasonable bumper form to her name during the summer and once Codd pressed the “go” button no one could go with her.

Connections indicated afterwards that the mare would try her luck in a Winners contest before going back to the track.

Codds winner sees him join Derek O’Connor at the top of the national riders table on the 8 winner mark.

The opening 4 Year Old Maiden sponsored by WP Mullins – Horse Trainer saw 12 runners try their luck, with Native Gamut very well supported in the betting ring for the Co Wexford based Monbeg Syndicate under Barry O’Neill.

Their emerald green and orange colours did pass the post first but they were on Rob James who won on the Sean Doyle trained Black Sam The Man.

This 4 year old son of Black Sam Bellamy will be heading to the Cheltenham Sales Ring next according to his winning handler Sean Doyle who added “Rob gave him a super ride, he really settled today with the hood working a treat”

Rob James pretty much nicked it on the line as he battled past Derek O’Connor and Ballywilliam who had been prominent all the way and looked a likely winner until James unleashed his mount.

Co Wexford based Doyle and James doubled up in the second division of the Shark Hanlon sponsored 5 and 6 Year Old Geldings Maiden with Monbeg River.

His fourth place at Tinahely proved his well being 3 weeks ago and he built on it here. The 5 year old son of Indian River came from off the quick pace set by Royal Haslar and Sage Monkey to win very easily.

Doyle was quick to note the ride given by James and added “Thats our first double for a long time. Rob gave him a super ride and the hood did the trick again. He is likely to head next to a Winners where they will go a stride quicker”

Kieran Purcell who trains near Windgap, Co Kilkenny was on the double at the track as well with Co Waterford based Declan Queally and Paul Power sharing the riding honours for him.

Queally and Purcell took the first division of the Shark Hanlon sponsored maiden when winning with Bold Batchelor. This 5 year old son of Bachelor Duke was the favourite in the betting ring and sat in behind Glengra as that horse tried to lead all the way.

Queally had far to much fire power for the other 12 runners and won readily with Purcell stating “Its nice to have a double, the horses are good and healthy. This is a lovely big horse that will go back to the track”

Purcell gave Paul Power the leg up on Red Sunset in the Winners of Two with the Oscar 5 year old coming into the race two fences from the finish to pass the long time leaders All At Once and Subtitle.

Purcell nominated the Doncaster Sales as the next outing for this horse and if he doesn’t sell there he will try him in a bumper adding “It was so close here today to the yard we decided to take the opportunity and run him”

Power managed his own double on the day, with one win in the saddle and one as a trainer as his 7 year old Bakers Street took the concluding Friends of Thomastown GAA Older Horses maiden.

Ridden by American, Jeannie Cooke who was recording her second win over fences ,Power indicated afterwards. “Its much easier to ride a race than look at one. But Jeannie had never jumped a fence in public before and now she has ridden two winners. The plan is to continue pointing as the horse was bought for her”

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Seefood takes Wexfords biggest race for Hughes and Geraghty.

The experiment of an individual / single day two day Halloween Bank Holiday weekend fixture run over three days just didn’t seem to work at Wexford with the second day failing to ignite the imagination.

A small enough attendance had to endure some unpleasant weather on the afternoon but the intrepid punter among them fared pretty well with 6 winning favourites fairly routing the few enough bookies in the ring at the course. Some weekend rain saw the word Firm taken out of the going with Good ground on offer keeping everyone happy.

Co Kildare based trainer Dessie Hughes is a regular visitor to the South East and is in the top five most successful trainers at
Wexford.

He struck again on Bank Holiday Monday when his 2/1 joint favourite Seefood took the Listed MW Hickey Memorial Chase run over 3 miles 1 furlong.

This race , the only Black Type race on the calendar at the track and its most valuable pot saw just four horses declared to face the starters flag.

With prize money down to fourth place it was a little unfortunate that the outsider of the quartet , Pollywollydoodle refused to participate and had the forgo the best paid gallop she might ever have had!

Noel Meades , Thomond set the early pace until Barry Geraghty sent Seefood to the front 4 fences from home and pretty much finished the race as a contest coming home 39lengths clear.

The 7 year old son of Kahyasi was winning his sixth career race with his Maynooth, Co Kildare based owners Dan and Margaret Houlihan of the Lyreen Syndicate pleased to have picked up such a nice prize.

Sandra Hughes who was on hand to represent the absent winning trainer stated “He loves that ground , but I am not sure how much longer we can get it at this time of year. He needed that trip, as he was a 3 mile hurdler he is clearly a 3 mile chaser.”

With a mile less to travel in the Jim Whitty Memorial Beginners Chase, the Whitford Hotel sponsored 2miles 1furlong contest saw Gordon Elliott’s, Crown Theatre , sent off the 9/4 favourite under Paul Carberry.

With San Miedo and The Mooch sharing the lead, Carberry had the Kings Theatre out the back and according to Carberry ” He jumped really well and we went on after great leaps at the third or fourth last as I didn’t want to disappoint him”

Owned by Dublin based Anthony O’Sullivan the 5 year old has been on the go all summer who benefited from from a previous steeplechasing experience in Perth to add to his Downpatrick hurdle win in October.

Racing got underway at 1.15 with the Garryrichard Stud Colt and Geldings Maiden over 2miles 2furlongs. Here Stonehall Jack was sent off the 7/2 on favourite under Barry Geraghty and duly won for Davy Fitzgerald.

The Co Limerick based trainer quickly indicated afterwards ” I needed that win more than him. But he was not winning out of turn, he really should have won before now, but he needs to settle”

Geraghty pretty much made all the running on the Ann and Alex McCarthy homebred 5 year old Gamut gelding coming home in front of Slyguttou and an eyecatching Benahavis. Fitzgerald added “Thats it for now, we will give him a break”

Denis Cullen and Adrian Lynch teamed up to take the JJ Byrne Subaru Maiden Hurdle with Whipper Boy.

This 95 rated flat performer , a 4 year old son of Whipper had some uninspiring hurdle form prior to winning here at 10/1.

Martina Doran’s locally trained Burlesdon put up a very forward showing here under Mikey Fogarty but they were unable to hold off the finishing pace of Whippers Boy who won by 2 and a half lengths.

Speaking afterwards, winning trainer Denis Cullen stated ” I am delighted, he has had issues with his jumping. He wad sticky over the plastic hurdles but he warmed up well here. The long run in from the last here suited , so we will see where we go”

Just 3 horses raced for the €12,000 pot of the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle with Aidan O’Briens Draco leading all the way, adding to his August win at Bellewstown here at 7/4 favourite.

The 5 year old son of Hernando has been a little disappointing to date but winning jockey Robbie Power indicated “He was free early on, but settled. He has grown up an awful lot and will be a nice horse in six months”

The conditional jockeys were given the stage in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle run over 2 miles 4 furlongs.

Jonathon Burke is a rising star and the young Cork man added another winner here when winning on Bank Bonus for Co Kilkenny based Eoin Griffin.

The 5 year old Motivator gelding started was bred by the Queen of England and is now owned by a Waterford based syndicate of owners including International soccer player John O’Shea and his brother Alan.

Eoin O’Griffin noted ” He really likes summer soft ground but its nice to finally get a win. Johnny gave him a great ride.”

Peter Nolan Bloodstock sponsored the concluding bumper which saw father and son partnership of Ronnie and Johnnie O’Neill team up to win with Bay Sly. This home bred 7 year old son of Stowaway will head to Doncaster Sales according to winning trainer Ronnie O’Neill.

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