Seven wins in busy weekend
It was the busiest weekend of the point-to-point season so far with four meetings over the two days.
Denis Murphy from The Ballagh was the only Wexford trainer to strike gold while Jamie Codd rode four winners.
There was a double up north for Rob James and Jimmy O'Rourke had a win and a second at Tallow in Waterford.
The West Waterford Foxhounds raced at Tallow and it was a very good day for Jimmy O'Rourke from Silversprings, Ballycogley, riding a winner and a second for trainer Denis Murphy from The Ballagh.
The win, a third of the season for himself and Murphy, came for owner Thomas O'Sullivan on Paul (Boris De Deauville-Bart Jack), doing it in some style in the five-year-old geldings' maiden.
The second was on Beneagles, owned by Maria Byrne, in the opening four-year-old maiden, behind Martin Hassett's Mulcahy's Hill. Barry O'Neill was third in this on Ramses de Teillee for Colin Bowe.
O'Neill was second in the five- and six-year-old mares' maiden on Sparkling River, for John and Marie Brennan, Camolin, and he finished third in the last, the six-year-old plus geldings' maiden, on Bowe's Front at the Last, owned by John Gibbons.
The Ward Union Hunt raced at Oldtown, Dublin, on Sunday and while there were no Wexford-trained winners, Jamie Codd helped himself to a riding hat-trick and a couple of placed efforts before departing for the bumper at Naas.
He won the first four-year-old maiden on an odds-on shot for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House, but Calipton had to battle hard to hold Martin Hassett's Jack Devine, with Paul Nolan's Celma Des Bois a distant third under Harley Dunne.
Codd won the second also, the five-year-old geldings' maiden, on favourite, Derrinross, for Kildare trainer J.P. Dempsey, with Monbeg Chit Chat second under Rob James for Donnchadh Doyle.
He completed his hat-trick on former track star, Aupcharlie, for Waterford's Henry de Bromhead, turning over odds-on favourite, Marito, in the four-year-old plus open race.
This one also won at Tinahely three weeks ago and is now all set for the Foxhunters at Cheltenham. next month
Jamie finished second of ten in the five-year-old plus mares' maiden for his brother Willie, from Mayglass, on Doesntbotherme, owned by Billy Devereux, having to give best to Derravarragh Lily for Carol Ross, wife of the late Cecil who died before Christmas.
Actually, Ross had a double, winning again with Goldmineinthesky, following on from a maiden win at Tinahely. Second was Bobbythegangster, turning out for the third week in a month for Don Cashman and Talitha Doran, under Paul Keating; he was leading when falling the previous week and won at Tinahely before that.
The Co. Clare Harriers raced at Belharbour on Sunday where there was limited Wexford involvement. It was almost a home meeting for champion rider, Derek O'Connor, and he recorded a winning treble and a couple of seconds.
Ashleigh and Michael Murphy from Duncormick made the long journey with Redbridge Miller and Gary Murphy (Ballycullane) steered him into third in the four-year-old maiden.
The first point-to-point meeting in the North of Ireland for almost three months was staged in dreadful racing conditions by the East Down Foxhounds at Tyrella on Saturday.
While there were few Wexford connections involved, Rob James of Killanne rode a double and Jamie Codd had a winner before heading to Leopardstown to ride in the Hunter Chase there.
Rob scored first on Miss Honeypennie on her first start for Wicklow trainer, Prunella Dobbs, in the seven-year-old plus mares' maiden, staying on bravely in the tough conditions to prevail by half a length.
He had an easier task than anticipated in the final race when romping home on Rockportian for Warren Ewing.
Jamie Codd rode in the first two races before making a swift departure for Leopardstown, and he scored by two and a half lengths in the five-year-old geldings' maiden on Sergeant Brody for Peter and Teresa Flood.
Just two of the 15 starters completed the course, indicating the toughness of the conditions on a difficult day for racing.
After all that action, champion Derek O'Connor is a clear leader in the riders' table on 27. He is followed by three Wexfordmen - Barry O'Neill on 17, Jamie Codd on 16 (getting back into it after his early season was disrupted by injuries), and Rob James on 14.
There are four more meetings planned for next weekend: on Saturday, North Down Foxhounds at Kirkistown, and on Sunday the Avondhu Foxhounds at Fermoy, the Kildare Foxhounds at Punchestown, and the Stonehall Harriers at Askeaton, Co. Limerick. The next local action is the Bray Harriers meeting at Tinahely on February 21.