Wexford connections to fore
Aileen bows out after a wonderful 35 years of service
A lovely spring day brought out the crowds and lots of runners for a very successful Killinick Harriers fixture at Lingstown on Sunday, with 68 runners going to post in the seven races, which was excellent considering there were four other points held over the weekend.
Wexford connections had a dominant afternoon and the Codd family had three wins on their local course; Jamie Codd had a riding double and his brother, William, trained the final winner.
There were winning rides also for Barry O'Neill, Eddie Keating, Mark Scallan and J.J. Slevin, while trainers Colin Bowe, Paul Nolan, Gordon Doyle and Shay Slevin were all successful and the locals also farmed most of the placings.
A special tribute was paid to the late Philip Hore, Tilladavins, Tomhaggard, Honorary Secretary and field master for the Killinick Harriers, who died on March 3 at just 27 years of age, after a brave battle with cancer.
He was honoured in the racecard and a minute's silence was also observed.
Colin Bowe continued his recent dominance of the four-year-old maidens in the Home Instead Senior Care-sponsored opener with Daklondike (Gold Well-Strong Irish), expertly ridden by Barry O'Neill, for the Milestone Racing Partnership, following on from his double in the north on Saturday.
Daklondike took it up at the last from Anchor Man, ridden by Mark Scallan (Cleariestown) for Ashleigh Murphy (Duncormick), and won by three lengths, with Another Stowaway third under Harley Dunne (The Ballagh) for Denis Murphy (Ballyboy, The Ballagh). Ashleigh Murphy also supplied fourth, Redbridge Miller, under Gary Murphy (Ballycullane).
Jamie Codd got off the mark in the second, the Mary Barry's Seafood Bar and Restaurant five-year-old mares' maiden.
He came with a rush approaching the last on Minutestomidnight for Jonathan Sweeney from Cork, but made a really slow jump and had to be ridden out forcefully to get back up by half a length to consign Mark Scallan to second spot again, on Queeny for John Martin Walsh from Duncormick.
Third was Patsy Milan for Colin Bowe, with Barry O'Neill having cut out most of the running.
Paul Nolan does not send out many point-to-pointers these days, and in the Slaney Foods International five-year-old geldings' maiden he picked up just his second winner of the season.
Robin Royale (Robin Des Champs-Rosafi), owned by Manverton Limited, was sent into the lead from the off by Eddie Keating and he was never headed as the Gusserane rider recorded his third win of the season.
There was a great battle for second, with Jamie Codd getting up by a short head on Denis Murphy's Lough Derg Jewel, from More Than Luck, ridden by J.J. Scallan for James Doyle and the Monbeg Syndicate.
Feature race of the day was the Casey Enterprises open lightweight over the banks course, a severe test with 24 obstacles to be jumped.
Hot favourite here was Sizing Australia, winner of the cross-country race at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival, but he found one too good in the Slevin family's Treo Eile (Exit to Nowhere-Thistle Witch).
J.J. Slevin, now working with Nigel Twiston-Davies in England, led most of the way and despite an error at the last he held off a determined favourite to win for his father Shay (trainer) and mother, Elizabeth (owner), from Kiltrea, Enniscorthy. Jamie Codd was third on course specialist, Theroadtocroker, for Denis Murphy.
There was a stewards' enquiry into alleged interference on the run-in; the result stood though J.J. Slevin did get a couple of days' 'holidays'.
However, he was relieved that this does not affect Cheltenham this week where he has several fancied mounts.
Mark Scallan, after a couple of earlier near misses, got his winner in the Rostoonstown Stud winner of one event on Finnegan's Hollow (Indian River-Whisper Dawn), for owner Henry Cleary and a second of the season for trainer Gordon Doyle from Knockmullen, New Ross.
The winner was well touted beforehand, as was the second, St. Killenagh, ridden by Gary Murphy for Denis Moore from Kilmore Quay; indeed, St. Killenagh led for most of the way until grabbed at the last by the winner who asserted on the run-in.
There was another stewards' enquiry, but the result stood. Brandy and Pep was third, ridden by J.P. O'Sullivan for Tom McGuinness.
The Ire-Wel Pallets six-year-old plus maiden was divided into two divisions of ten, a rare event this season where the heavy going has reduced entries.
Division 1 completed Jamie Codd's double as he won comfortably on Aztec Chief, returning after nearly 700 days off the track, for Eamonn O Donnabháin; from Colgrave Sound for the O'Donnells from Gowran and Seven of Them, ridden by Harley Dunne for Darragh Brennan.
Division 2 produced a welcome second win of the season for local trainer and committee member, William Codd, with his Pastures Green (Craigsteel-Gypsy River) making a procession out of it under Waterford jockey, Paul Power. Second, 15 lengths back, was Willie Collins, ridden by Shane O'Rourke (Foulksmills) for Gerard Quirk from Carrick-on-Suir, and third spot was filled by Chowder for the Slevins.
All concerned can feel very satisfied with an excellent day's racing, and the scores of officials and volunteers can take a bow for their efficiency which made the fixture a very pleasant experience for spectators.
It was a special occasion for the Killinicks Racing Secretary, Aileen Cardiff, who was officiating at her final fixture after a wonderful 35 years of service.
She received many warm and well-deserved tributes and will be sorely missed.