James the man of the moment in Loughrea
There was just one point-to-point meeting over the weekend, hosted by the Galway Blazers at Loughrea, and the Wexford man in form was rider Rob James who recorded a winning double.
Rob, from that Co. Wexford pointing hotspot, Ballindaggin, was the champion novice rider two years ago and exceeded 20 winners last year. He has made a good start to the new season and has had four winners and two seconds from just 15 rides so far.
On Sunday, he deputised for fellow Ballindaggin man, Barry O'Neill - collecting a county hurling medal with Duffry Rovers - to win the open four-year-old on the Hard Hat for Fermanagh trainer, David Christie. He completed his quick double in the winners of one on Kilna Shane for Kilkenny handler, Michael Quigley.
Rob also had a hard-fought second in the five-year-old geldings' maiden on Breezemount for Pat Doyle and trainer Colin Bowe, eventually having to give best to Leg Lock Luke for Eoghan and Eugene O'Sullivan from Cork.
There are three meetings next weekend, the East Antrim Harriers at Loughanmore on Saturday, the Meath and Tara Harriers at Dowth Hall, and the Duhallow Foxhounds at Dromahane, Co. Cork, on Sunday.
Regulars on the point-to-point scene, rider James Slevin from Kiltrea, Enniscorthy, and trainer Richie Rath from Screen, had a very nice winner at the Punchestown track meeting last Wednesday with 9/4 favourite Moylisha Tim in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com maiden hurdle.
James is a nephew of the Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O'Brien and he was second the following day at Punchestown on Aidan's King Leon in the five-year-old plus handicap chase.
Also on the Wednesday, champion point-to-point trainer Colin Bowe had a winner at Punchestown when Seán Flanagan from Palace East, Clonroche, steered home 4/1 shot Don Vincenzo in the beginners' chase. Flanagan is in hot form right now and this was his fourth win in a fortnight.