Codd and O'Neill in battle for title
Published 14/05/2016 | 00:00
Jamie Codd, from the Wexford horsey family but now based in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, and Barry O'Neill from Ballindaggin, are waging a fierce battle for this year's national point-to-point riders' title. They have it between them in the absence through injury of Derek O'Connor, regular champion for more than a decade, writes Pegasus.
Codd was champion a couple of years ago when he pipped O'Connor and he is leading the race for a second title. He lost the first month of the season through injury but has had 54 winners from 189 rides for a remarkable strike rate of 29%.
However, he is not having it all his own way and his four winners last week were surpassed by O'Neill who booted home five and is on the 49 mark. O'Neill has a number of targets to aim at - he seems certain to exceed his best-ever seasonal total, the 52 he recorded in 2013-'14, and he is also just four short of 350 career winners.
Both have been riding exceptionally well in points and on the track and their joust is sure to enliven the closing month of the season.
Colin Bowe from Kiltealy has the handlers' title wrapped up but his three winners in the week gave him a landmark 33 total, exceeding his previous seasonal best of 32 wins in 2010-'11. Donnchadh Doyle, Ballindaggin, who shared the title with him last year, has moved into second in the table with 15 wins.
Racing this week starts with the conclusion of the Northern circuit with a two-day fixture at Necarne, Co. Fermanagh, on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday there are meetings at Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois, and Bartlemy, Co. Cork.