Irish Pointing Weekly
by Declan Phelan
Week Two - Lisgoold
Sheltering returns in style
15 fences, just over 3 circuits.
Right handed track. Tough climb on turning out past winning post with 3 quick fences on the climb. Then downhill run to 4th fence and bend to negotiate before 5th fence in homestraight.
Going heavy, more testing than Dromahane on Monday.
6 race card became an 8 racer with 2 divides.
Race 1---Confined United
11 went to post but as with a number of these confined races it was not competitive. Family Business (5yr Over The River) a good 3rd on his sole run as a 4yr old was purchased in the close season by Carrigtwohill publican cum trainer Seamus Cotter. His form looked well above that of the opposition and he was dispatched the 4/7 jolly. With 2nd fav Tabekat (7m Good Thyne) pulling up at half way having burst, Family Business who was prominent throughout won comfortably by 3 lengths from the fully exposed Appel Island. I was not that impressed by this performance, as this well touted individual looked fit in the paddock before racing, and I don't see much improvement on that front. More will be known about the ability of Family Business if he steps out in winners company next time---possibly at local track Carrigtwohill at the start of Feb.
Race 2--------Adjacent Hunt
Maiden,5 yr olds only.
Another weakly contested event with just 7 facing the starter. Slieve Leave (ch g Long Leave) who had been placed 4th at Listowel in a September bumper, opened the 1/2 fav but drifted to Evens in the ring. This was not surprising as he looked wired to the moon and had to be mounted on the track and then bolted to the start.
After these antics it was no great shock when Slieve Leave quickly pulled his way to the front when the race commenced. He ran too freely for the first circuit but jockey Davy Russell got him jumping well. Terracurra Beauty (Eurobus 1/2 sister to Earthmover) tracked him for a circuit and a half before tamely folding.
Going out on to the final circuit San Marino (Le Bavard 1/2 brother to Fours Are Wild) came through to challenge Slieve Leave. They kept company until Eoin O Grady kicked San Marino clear on the downhill run to 2 out. From there on he extended his advantage to win by well over a distance from the legless Slieve Leave.
This was a fine performance from San Marino whose only other appearance was last Monday when he was pulled up after the second fence with a slipped saddle.
On this performance he could make into a decent staying handicap chaser and he clearly relished the testing conditions. As for Slieve Leave his antics apart, his jumping was fine and he can collect on better ground, maybe a trip short of 3 miles might suit him also.
Always Good a (Riot Helmet) 1/2 brother to Struggles Glory was tailed off throughout and showed nil.
Race 3----Open Lightweight
Just 4 runners. Sheltering, Ex Paul Barber False Tail (now with Gerry Cully) and two veterans Harrys Secret & The Dasher Doyle.
Philip Fenton sent Sheltering to lead from outset and with the exception of a brief period before and after the 4th when False Tail led, Sheltering enjoyed an uncontested spin around. He was successful in this race last year although it was a stronger event then. In reality the 3 opponents offered no challenge throughout. The Dasher Doyle fell 5 out, and Sheltering quickened into a 10 length lead approaching 2 out and was never in any danger after. False Tail appeared to hang turning right handed into the homestraight each time but he got up in the final stride to take second from Harrys Secret. I was quite impressed by False Tail and he was not unduly knocked about. It was a pithy that he did not put it up to Sheltering, but maybe connections were wisely taking a long term view and on this performance provided he remains sound, False Tail will have little trouble lifting his 4 opens.
Sheltering did not appear as fit today as he was in this event last year which may be a good thing. His jumping looks top handicap class so it remains a mystery why he jumped so poorly last year at Cheltenham, maybe he will show his true colours this season. Trainer Eddie O Grady is on holidays but long time assistant Timmy Finn told me that his program will be the exact same as last year with Leopardstown next on the agenda. Incidentally he also told me that the yards decent novice chaser from last year , a former winning pointer, Up For The Game(full brother to The Grey Monk) is out for the season injured, but that Nick Dundee is in great shape after his Leopardstown run and suffered no ill effects.
Race 4---Mares Maiden(6yr+)
This was Divided.
Eric McNamara's Elaine Beo was sent to post the 2/1 favourite on this it's debut. This 6yr Roselier full sister to Mary Reveley's A Piece Of Cake and 1/2 sister to Noel Meade's Kings Valley(a winner at Naas today), looked a nice sort in the parade ring and had champion pilot JT McNamara up. The Tom Costello camp introduced Legal Lady(6yr Over The River) who was well touted but she fell at the first. Elaine Beo shared the lead for most of the journey with Princess Rosa but dropped that opponent 3 from home. Anotherlittledolly then came with a run that quickly petered out. Elaine Beo came to the last fence with a 10 length lead but put in a slow jump. Another Sirrah (7yr Buckskin) who was last for most of the trip had slowly crept into the race and was fully 20 lengths of the favourite 2 out, but with the jolly faltering she put in a flying leap at the last and came with a wet sail to snatch the spoils on the line.
Of the pair involved at the finish I think that Elaine Beo has a future on the track albeit at a modest level, and she looks a moral to gain compensation next time.
The only other mare of note here was Fair Enough (6 Phardante 1/2 sister to Woodfield Gale) who was going well when falling at halfway.
The weaker of the 2 divisions with the fully exposed Pretty Young Thing (7yr Yashgan-form -pp5ppb45ppp-) sent off favourite. She was in the van for most of the journey until tackled by On The Mobile 2 out, and that 6 year old daughter of Spanish Place quickened away to win convincingly. On The Mobile had shaped well in a few bumpers and on this evidence may be good enough to win a mares winners event. I would not hold out much hope for the rest.
Race 5---Gelding Maiden 6yr +. This was Divided.
There was a gamble on the Eoin Gallagher ridden debutante Hellodock (6yr Dry Dock) 6/4- 4/5. There was no great pace on here and plenty had chances with 3 to jump. Cool Climate had disputed for most of the way but was headed by Hellodock who burst to the lead running to the second last. However the favourite was slow here and Cool Climate fought back to lead on the turn for home. J T McNamara asked Cool Climate (8yr Zaffaran) for a big jump at the last, and when the gelding responded it looked as though the champion was off the mark for the season, however as had happened earlier to JT his mount emptied on the run in, and Hellodock rallied and much to the delight of his supporters snatched the spoils on the line.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th were not beaten that far here, but if taking the slack pace of the race not to be misleading, Dragon Tie (7y Alphabetim) 3rd, Times Past(6 yr Commanche Run) 4th, and Sir Mark Brunel (6 yr Over The River) 5th(in particular) could collect similar races in the coming weeks. The runner up Cool Climate will bid for consolation in the confined race at the Scarteen point in 2 weeks.
As for the winner Hellodock given that he may improve on this his debut, a small winners race may fall his way.
Datito a good second behind subsequent bumper winner Anxious Moments on his only outing last year at Lismore went to post the well backed 4/7 favourite.
The Costello runner No Stranger (6y Roselier) shared the lead with West Pal (7y Lancastrian) until he weaken after the 3rd last. Davy Russell had bided his time out the backdoor on Datito but at this point had moved him up to challenge for the lead. West Pal had a narrow advantage away from the second last, and he and Datito quickened away from the remainder as they turned for home. Datito
just had the advantage coming to the last, which he safely jumped and he held the persistent challenge of West Pal by a few lengths.
Datito (6yr Over The River) should make an honest staying handicap chaser as a park career surely beckons. West Pal had failed to complete on his 3 outings in 2000, but jumped soundly in this race, and he will get his day shortly.
Race 6---Winners Of 2 --No
9 runners. Only 3 with any chance.
Minino a winner on Monday at Dromahane was a solid 4/5 jolly. Ballyvalogue who was 6th in Monday's open was a weak second favourite at 4/1, the same price as Glen Bree Native.
These 3 dominated throughout, Damien Murphy kicked Minino clear on the run to the second last and opened up a 12 length lead away from that fence. Minino was relishing the testing conditions and sailed over the last to win by 25L. Glen Bree Native was just holding Ballyvalogue for the second berth when tumbling at the last, leaving Ballyvalogue a remote second.
This was Minino (8y Glacial Storm) second victory in 6 days since his repatriation and he may collect an open in such testing conditions.
Ballyvalogue(6y Air Display) has ability but connections will have to be patient and wait for better ground.
1--Family Business(J Sheehan)
3--State In Emergency. 11 Ran.
Adj Maiden –
1--San Marino(E O Grady)
3--Grange Classic. 7 Ran.
3--Harrys Secret. 4 Ran.
1--Another Sirrah(J Sheehan)
3--Kristinas Lady. 11 Ran.
1--On The Mobile(A McNamara)
2--Pretty Young Thing. 10 Ran.
3--Dragon Tie. 11 Ran.
3--No Stranger.10 Ran.
1--Minino (D Murphy)
2--Ballyvalogue. 9 Ran