Six local yard wins
The Wexford yards picked up six of the important races over two days and three meetings, confirming again the county's dominance at the head of the current point-to-point scene.
Day one at Durrow on Saturday produced a win in the six-year-old mares' maiden with Getawaytonewbay, trained by Vincent Devereux for his dad Jimmy at Rostoonstown; they built on her good recent run at Lingstown to score by four lengths under Shane O'Rourke.
Second yet again was Kieran Roche's (Adamstown) Sadhbh's Delight for John McCabe under James Walsh, and the same combination was a bit unlucky in the five-year-old geldings' maiden (Division 2). Their Tony the Bear was caught by a head in the last strides.
The other winner was Hometown Boy (Curtain Time) in the four-year-old Auction Maiden for horses bought last year for €25,000 or less, ridden by Jack Hendrick (Mayglass) for Cormac Doyle and the Monbeg Farm Partnership. The horse had been bought for €15,500 at Tattersalls last May.
Tiernan Roche-Power (Tomhaggard) was second in the four-year-old mares' maiden on Ashleigh and Michael Murphy's (Duncormick) Imperial View, and Rob James was second in the Mares' Winner of One with the Pierce Power (The Hook)-trained Seaside Girl, a recent winner at Lismore.
The action resumed at Durrow on Sunday and there were two more Wexford winners.
Tiernan Power-Roche and the Murphys got quick compensation for Saturday's second when the experienced Howya Hun took the five-year-old mares' maiden for them by a length from Racks Cross, a third second in two days for Kieran Roche and James Walsh, with Pat Cloke's Limited Company in third.
Luke Murphy (Inch) had his 14th success of the season in the Winner of One on the Richard Black (Bunclody)-handled Casey Jem, building on their maiden win at Tallow.
At the Duhallow Hunt meeting at Liscarroll near Mallow, Colin Bowe sent out another impressive four-year-old winning debutant, Papa Tango Charly (out of No Risk at All) for Una Connors, under Barry O'Neill.
Second was Donnchadh Doyle's Big Bresil under Rob James, and this pair combined to take top spot in the five-year-old geldings' maiden with Keep Wondering (by Scorpion) for the Monbeg Syndicate.
The Bree Hunt stages its meeting at Monksgrange, Rathnure, on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. The card features maidens for four- and five-year-old mares and geldings, six-year-old geldings, and a Winner of One. This meeting has thrown up quite a few big-money winners in recent years.
They also run at Lisronagh, Clonmel, and at Ballynoe in Cork, and on Saturday at Portrush in Derry.
Meanwhile, the sustained demand for Wexford-handled point-to-pointers shows no sign of abating despite Brexit and other worries, and was maintained at the Tattersalls sale in the Cheltenham parade ring during the Thursday of the Festival.
Thirteen of the 24 entries in the sale were sent over by Wexford handlers, and twelve of them were sold for a total of £1,980,000 (€2,314m).
Three horses that had won their four-year-old maiden races the previous Sunday were sold for a total of £850,000 (€993,000), having cost a total of €152,000 the previous summer.
Bravemansgame, Donnchadh Doyle's winner at Lingstown, went to top trainer Paul Nicholls for £370,000, having cost €48k at the Derby Sale last June.
Doyle's Farouk d'Alene was an impressive 18-length winner at Belclare in Galway under Jimmy O'Rourke, and this one went to Gordon Elliott for £260,000, having been bought for £34,000 at the Doncaster sales last May
Hold That Taught won that same day at Turtulla, for Denis Murphy, and it was sold to trainer Venetia Williams for £220,000; Murphy had paid €70k for him.
Colin Bowe and his Milestone Stables sold three for £160,000 each - Linelee King (by Martaline) to Aiden Murphy & Olly Murphy Racing, originally costing €38k; Giants Table (by Great Pretender) to Jamie Codd, originally bought by the trainer's cousin, J.J. Bowe, for €60k, and Telmesomethinggirl, a mare by Stowaway, to Rathmore Stud.
He also sold Java Point (by Stowaway) to Ed Bailey Bloodstock for £80,000.
Other Wexford horses sold were: Sporting John (by Getaway), a Borris House winner from Matthew Flynn-O'Connor's Bunclody stable, to Kieran McManus for £160,000, having originally cost €33k;
Eclair Surf (a five-year-old gelding by Califet), by Cormac Doyle and Monbeg, for £140,000, having been bought for €44k;
Jeremy Pass (by Jeremy) by Michael Goff's Moate Stables, Clondaw, Ferns, to Paul Nicholls for £100,000;
Madam Deluxe (a filly by Malinas) by Liam Kenny's Ballydarragh, Craanford, stable to Jamie Codd for £90,000;
Ard Abhainn (a five-year-old mare by Jeremy) by Bernie Murphy's Ballinagore, Blackwater, stable, to Gordon Elliott for £80,000; this one won the five-year-old mares' maiden at Lingstown and had been bought by Pat Coffey for just €10,500 at the 2017 Derby sale.