Lisronagh Point-to-Point Report

The Autumn Point to Point programme in the South East came to its conclusion at the Tipperary Foxhound meeting at Lisronagh. Racing over lands owned by the Clonmel Showgrounds the track seems to favour well balanced horses who can cope with the tight bends and reasonably stiff fences. 
Jumping 16 fences on the 3 mile circuit is no easy task but a couple of them are pretty close together and demand respect. Extraordinarily the official going was good, good to firm in places leaving more than one or two trainers in a quandary as  whether to run or not. 
That said 83 horses were declared from an original entry of 138 giving us 7 races on the day following one divide.
Honours were shared in every sector at the meeting with competition fierce for that elusive winner. 
The smallest field on the day saw 5 horses face the starter in the Kirbys Pharmacy and Pat Doyle Racing Mares Open Lightweight. This however did not detract one aota from the quality of the race with a really close finish seeing Isourbell get her head in front after 5 seconds in a row under Sheila Ahern.
Trained in Conna,Co Cork by her owner Sean Aherne the 11 year old Executive Perk mare was winning for the fifth time in her career between the flags. 
Sheila Ahern from Ballyduff in Co Waterford must take many of the plaudits for this win as the 26 year old set the pace from the front, jumping superbly she and Isourbell held the late challenge of Givemeabuzz to win by a length. 
Speaking afterwards in the winners enclosure Sheila commented "Jumping is the name of the game and the plan is to stay pointing at present" Sheila Ahern is no relation to the winning owner/trainer but she works full time in his yard in Conna where Sean has 12 horses in training using sand and hill gallops. Ahern who learned her trade in on the showjumping circuit and hunting with the Connas has now recorded 4 winners with the hope of getting more opportunities and adding to her tally.
Racing opened with the 4 year old Maiden sponsored by Brightwells Bloodstock. Here only 14 of the original entry of 36 were declared with victory going to the Denis Murphy trained Royal Chief. This grey son of Royal Anthem had good previous form to his credit and was giving Murphy his very first win at Lisronagh after all these years. 
This race was pretty eventful as the winner did well to evade a loose horse on more than one occasion to win by half a length under a powerful ride by Jamie Codd.
Speaking afterwards in the winners enclosure the winning Co Wexford trainer stated "He is getting stronger for every run. He has broken our duck here, he is entitled to be better" As with many of Murphy's horses he will be seen in a sales ring, most likely Brightwells in the not to distant future.
Racing concluded with a very local win in the Hotel Minella 7 and 8 year old maiden with Killenaule, Co Tipperary trainer Martin Hassett winning with Chestnut Friar. This 8 year old Anshan mare had shown a glimmer of form at Cregg under Mikey O'Connor when second and built on it here with Barry O'Neill giving an exhibition of front running tactics. With only Kevin Power and Remarkable Man to keep her company O'Neill ran out comfortable winner on the day. 
Owned by a Co Roscommon Syndicate headed by Noel Keenan, the Flying Horse Syndicate from Ballintubber were in jubilant mood afterwards. Hassett who has a mixture of 12 horses in training said "She is as tough as nails, all credit to Noel and we might go for a Winners after this"
Charles Maguire has only the one horse in training at his Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath base and he now has a 100% strike rate following the victory of Winnie Cooper in the Kenilworth House and Clonmel Show 5 and 6 year old mares maiden.
This 6 year old Beneficial mare was in the leading three horses all the way and following the exit of Barnagrotty Girl, Fiord Cottage and finally Katcha Kopek she won in the hands of PJ O'Neill. From a really old jumping family including L'Escargot ,Maguire who rides the mare out himself indicated that "We will wait till the New Year to run again" 
Gamut stands as a stallion  at Sunnyhill Stud in Co Kildare for Michael Hickey and he introduced a nice 5 year old by him here in the shape of debutante Final Pass. Ridden by Co Dublin based Jamie Flynn in the Athassel House Stud 5 year old geldings maiden the horse was kept in the rear as the lead changed hands up front to come through and win. Speaking afterwards Hickey declared "Couldnt be happier, I need to find a customer for him. He was backward but he did that well" 
It was a good weekend for Hickey who has 3 horses in training, as the horse carried the silks of his wife Sheelagh and their daughter Jane Foley trained a winner Fleet Captain at Dundalk on Friday evening.
The 6 year old geldings maiden sponsored by Castlebridge Consignment  was divided with the two tightest victories on the day. Jeanette O'Riordan sent out Abbeyview a 6 year old by Misternando to win, ridden stylishly by Fermoy, Co Cork native Brian Linehan. Riordan who has 5 horses in training at Rathcornac, Co Cork indicated afterwards "The owners are in the USA on holiday, they go to all his schooling and missed this. We will go for a winners after this"
The second divide went to Kells Co Kilkenny with Charles Persse training his first winner in four years when Kellslodge, a 6 year old by Masterful won. Named after his own home he was really well handled by Pat Harris to win in a tight finish by a short head.
Harris from Carrick on Suir, rides out for John Nallen, schooled this horse for Persse and handled the quirky character with aplomb. Persse indicated afterwards that the horse "He was only broken as a 5 year old should improve and is now for sale"

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