Five out of seven
Doyle and Devereux get off the mark
The Wexford Hunt staged a very successful first local meeting of the season at Moorefield, Ballinaboola, on Sunday, with Wexford connections claiming five of the seven races. There were over 70 entries for the well-attended fixture, run off in bright but quite cold conditions.
A big entry caused the Horse and Hound Hotel four-year-old maiden to be divided, and Division 1 provided Seán Thomas Doyle from Ballindaggin with his first win of the season.
His Know the Score (Flemensfirth-Prairie Bell) was very impressive under Harley Dunne for the Monbeg Syndicate. Jamie Codd was third well back on Enzo Barbieri, trained by his brother, William.
Division 2 saw Michael Goff from Clondaw, Ferns, get his second winner under stable jockey Shane Fitzgerald with Clondaw's Answer (Ask-Monabricka Lady), with Jamie Codd second on John Nallen's Minella Mystics and Barry O'Neill a long way back in third on Colin Bowe's Duc D'Allier. Both winners are bound for the sales.
Vincent and Jimmy Devereux from Rostoonstown got off the mark with Lady Mantilla (Publisher-Mantilla Madam) holding on by half a length under Shane O'Rourke (Foulksmills) in the Nitrofert five-year-old plus Adjacent mares' maiden.
They held off hot favourite Agent Memphis, ridden by Jamie Codd for his wife, Robyn, trained by his brother, William.
Codd had left his one a good bit to do and just failed to catch a game winner. Back in third was Barry O'Neill on Colin Bowe's Oscarchely.
Codd got his winner in the Cooney Furlong Winner of One on Aztec Chief for Eamonn O Donnabháin. This one romped in despite an absence of 19 months.
Barry O'Neill hit back immediately in the Ballywalter Farms Open race on Eddies Miracle, trained by his great Northern ally, David Christie, coming in three lengths ahead of Rob James on regular winner, Sydney Paget, trained in Tipperary by Pat Doyle.
Trainer and TV pundit Ted Walsh won the Casey Enterprises five-year-old geldings' maiden with Batcio under M.J. Stenson, with Jimmy O'Rourke, Barntown, well back on Ballinasilla, trained at Blackwater by Bernadette Murphy, sister of Denis from Ballyboy.
The card concluded with the Wexford Hunt six-year-old plus maiden for novice riders, won by Hawk Eye Down, ridden by Jeannie Cook for Peadar Kelly.
All the many people involved with this fixture can take a bow for a job well done.
Up north on Saturday at Loughbrickland, Co. Down, trainer Denis Murphy and Jamie Codd took the four-year-old maiden with the impressive Derby (Policy Maker-Blue Lane), also owned by Murphy. He romped home by twelve lengths in tough conditions. The gelding is now for sale.
In the Winners of Two, Pierce Power made the long trip from the Hook in south Wexford pay off when his Burning Ambition (Scorpion-Wyndham Miss Sally) won for the third time in good style under Rob James.
Both Codd and Barry O'Neill headed off to Naas for the bumper after this where Codd was second on Martin Brassil's Florazi behind Pat Mullins on Gavin Cromwell's Lady Ischia. Codd leads O'Neill in the riders' championship by nine to eight.
There was not a big Wexford contingent at Dromahane in Cork for the Duhallow Hunt meeting where Borris duo Aidan Fitzgerald and rider Richie Deegan had a good double with Queens Cave and Court Master in the four-year-old maidens.
Donnchadh Doyle's Malachy's Girl was second in the mares' race under J.J. Walsh, Tinahely.
Killinick Harriers stage their meeting at Lingstown next Sunday, starting at 12 noon with a four-year-old maiden, followed by five-year-old maidens for mares and geldings, the open race over the famous banks course, a winners of two, and ending with an older horses' maiden at 2.30 p.m.
They also race at Tortulla, near Thurles, and on Saturday at Kirkistown, north Down.