Codd on the double
Three wins at two venues on Sunday
Jamie Codd picked up the reins following on from the sad death of his brother William, trainer and former rider, and returned to winning action in a big way on Sunday with a point-to-point double at the Ward Union meeting at Oldtown in Meath, followed by a quick trip to Punchestown where he scored in the concluding bumper.
Jamie had five rides at Oldtown and had two wins, a close-up second and a third. His first win came in the Winner of Two on La Cava Nostra (Flemensfirth-Pharenna), owned and trained by his regular ally, Denis Murphy from The Ballagh. The horse was following up on his recent Dungarvan success.
He followed up with a facile win in the Open race on Sizing Coal, trained by Jim Dreaper in the colours of the late Anne and Alan Potts.
Codd was just denied a treble on Whistling Dolly for Shark Hanlon in the five-years-old mares' maiden, pipped on the line by Declan Lavery on Verona Gold. Jimmy O'Rourke was third in this on Another Theatre for Andrew and Paul Pierce from Killurin.
It was then off to Punchestown for the concluding bumper and the well-fancied Gordon Elliott-trained Getaway John (4/7f), and they romped home by over eight lengths from Castle North and Patrick Mullins.
It was a special occasion for the owner, John F. Doyle from Kildare, who had got married the previous day.
It was a good weekend also for Rob James from Tomona, Killanne, who rode a pair of five-year-old geldings to maiden wins for the Doyle brothers from Monbeg, Ballindaggin, and also dashed to Punchestown where he was second in the Hunter Chase.
At Kirkistown, Co. Down, on Saturday, James and handler Seán Thomas Doyle recorded the only Wexford success in testing conditions with Hotel Du Nord (Voix Du Nord-Iu Ni Nao). Only two of the nine runners finished.
The northern connections dominated with Warren Ewing taking the four-year-old maiden with Bold Plan, ahead of Barry O'Neill on Colin Bowe's New Age Dawning and Not Going Out under Rob James for Seán Doyle. James was also second on David Christie's Vinnies Luck behind Morning Assembly.
At Oldtown, Rob combined with Donnchadh Doyle to score on King of the Sharks (Flemensfirth-Kings Rose) by a comfortable eight lengths.
He headed to Punchestown then and looked like winning the valuable Hunter Chase when leading at the last on three-times points winner, Burning Ambition (7/4), for Pierce Power from The Hook, but he was caught on the run-in when Nina Carberry conjured another run from Gilgamboa (8/13f) for Enda Bolger.
Two of the three meetings scheduled for Sunday fell victim to the weather, with Moig South in Limerick and Knockenard in Cork being called off; the Cork meeting has been re-fixed for next Saturday, with three meetings fixed for Sunday (February 18) - Cragmore, Co. Limerick; Kildorrery, Co. Cork, and Punchestown for the Kildare foxhounds.