Point-to-point in Lingstown this Sunday
It was a quiet weekend on the point-to-point scene with just one meeting being staged, the Westmeath and Longford Harriers event at Corbeagh House in Longford, but a low key session did produce wins for two Wexford riders.
In the four-year-old maiden, Jamie Codd won on Carrig Cathal for former top jockey, Robert Widger. He was three lengths ahead of champion and keen rival, Derek O'Connor, on Kilfilum Cross for Donie Hassett. Both were a bit lucky as the two leaders fell at the last to open the door for them.
In the open four-years-old plus, Rob James picked up another winning ride for David Christie from Fermanagh in the absence of Barry O'Neill at Punchestown. He got The Hard Hat into a lovely jumping rhythm to see off Jamie Codd on board John O. Clifford's Gullivar.
Codd was also second in the five-years-old mares' maiden for Tinahely owner and handler, Philip Rothwell, on Hillview Chloe. He was six lengths behind Ronan Quinlan on De Bennette for Clare owner and trainer, James Grace.
They will be making up for lost time next weekend with four meetings scheduled, including the Killinick Harriers at Lingstown on Sunday. They will also race at Kirkistown, Portavogie, Co. Down on Saturday, and at Holycross, Co. Tipperary (Golden Vale Harriers) and Ballynoe, Co. Cork (West Waterford Foxhounds), on Sunday.
At the time of writing, Killinick is timed to start at 12 noon with the usual six-race card, one of the highlights being the open four-years-old plus over the banks course. A wet and windy week is predicted but hopefully things will clear up in time for this popular fixture.
All point-to-point people will be delighted by the great success of trainer Colin Bowe and rider Barry O'Neill with Shantou Flyer in the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase at the high-profile Punchestown meeting on Sunday.
It was the third win in a row and four wins and a second from the last five outings for this really consistent sort, still just a five-year-old. Barry O'Neill took on the professionals and produced a picture-book ride to win with real style. All going well, Shantou Flyer could be aimed at Cheltenham next March.