Quin trainer Brian Hassett was on the mark when sending out 7/2 shot Me and Julio to land the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden at last Sunday’s well-attended East Clare Harriers’ meeting at Killaloe.
Remarkably, Hassett was taking this race for the third year in a row as his John Thomas McNamara-ridden charge showed great reserves of stamina when making virtually all the running to beat 5/4 favourite Sunken Secret by a neck.
Owned by well-known building contractor Brian McCarthy, Me and Julio has a bright future according to his trainer, who said, “This is nice horse and he won well today. He jumps great and we believe he’ll develop in top staying chaser in the years ahead.”
As expected, the in-form Derek O’Connor kept up his recent rich vein of form when riding two winners. The 28-year-old, who bagged a double up north at Farmaclaffey 24 hours earlier, wasted little time in getting into the swing of things when steering 11/10 favourite Dog Barrell Hill to victory in the opening winners’ race.
Trained in Bandon, County Cork by James Dullea for Pat Lynch, huntsman with the County Clare Hunt, Dog Barrell Hill needed the full O’Connor treatment when rallying in the closing stages to hold off the consistent challenge of northern raider Rowdy Rampage by half a length.
O’Connor completed his double in the older mares’ maiden where the well-backed Domestic Dispute (6/4-4/6F), trained by his brother Paurick at his Tubber stables, ran out a convincing winner. This daughter of Shernazar made every yard of the running, staying on powerfully in the closing stages to beat Closely Related by half a dozen lengths.
Bunratty owner/breeder Flan O’Neill saw his colours carried to success as Justfour sprung a 10/1 surprise in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.
Trained in Askeaton by Paddy Neville, this James ‘Corky’ Carroll-ridden mare had to dig deep in the closing stages to hold the determined challenge of favourite Mrs Kennedy with just a neck separating the pair at the line.
Clonmel jockey Liz Lalor moved on to the seven-winner mark for the season as the smart Carrigeen Lechuga (4/6F) made light work of the opposition in the concluding mares’ open.
Bidding for a four-timer, this well-bred daughter of Beneficial assumed command two out and had little trouble in landing the odds when passing the post 10 lengths to the good over runner-up Castlerock Rose.
Cork trainer Timmy O’Callaghan made the long trek worthwhile when his Total Containment (6/1) came good in the first division of the older geldings’ maiden.
Ridden by Barry John Foley, the Oscar gelding came out the right side of a ding-dong battle with runner-up Star Of Hollywood when beating that rival by three lengths.
The second division of this event proved memorable for Kerry rider Eoin McCarthy as he registered his first winner as a trainer aboard 8/1 shot Kilbaha Lion.
Sent to the front before two out, the winner had to withstand a strong challenge from Malachy Hassett’s Paddysparks who closed to within a length at the line. McCarthy, who rode 23 winners as a conditional before joining the amateur ranks, trains just outside Listowel.
East Clare Harriers winners of one. 3m
1 Dog Barrel Hill (IRE) 11/10F
2 ½L Rowdy Rampage (IRE) 10/1
32 ½L Tenspinhits (IRE) 10/1
Trainer, James Dullea; jockey, Derek O’Connor; owner, Pat Lynch
Pat Jones-Liam O’Holloran-Declan & Michael Minogue five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden. 3m
1 Me And Julio (GB) 7/2
2 nk Sunken Secret (IRE) 4/1 3 3L Gate Please (IRE) 4/1
Trainer, Brian Hassett; jockey, J T McNamara; owner, Brian McCarthy.
Teach Ui Bhriain five and six-year-old mares’ maiden 3m
1 Justfour (IRE) 10/1
2 nk Mrs Kennedy (IRE) 4/5F
3 10L Luckynumberslevin (IRE) 8/1
Trainer, Paddy Neville; jockey, J T Carroll; owner, Mushroom Syndicate.
Tom Marsh Plant Hire seven-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden (DIV 1) 3m
1 Total Containment (IRE) 6/1
2 3L Star Of Hollywood (IRE) 7/2
3 2L Lost Post (IRE) 8/1
Trainer, Timmy O’Callaghan; jockey, B J Foley; owner, Jeremiah O’Connell.
Seven-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden (DIV 2) 3m
1 Kilbaha Lion (IRE) 8/1
2 1L Paddysparks (IRE) 5/2
3 2L Merry By The Brook (IRE) 5/2
Trainer, Eoin McCarthy; jockey, E McCarthy; owner, The Royal Kerry Syndicate.
Sean Jones-Stephen Kerkin-City Electrical Factors seven-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden. 3m
1 Domestic Dispute (IRE) 4/6F
2 6L Closely Related (IRE) 4/1
3 25L Arctic Dream (IRE) 8/1
Trainer, Paurick O’Connor; jockey, Derek O’Connor; owner, Seamus Hartigan.
Murphy Mechanical & Electrical Ltd Mares’ Open. 3m
1 Carrigeen Lechuga (IRE) 4/6F
2 10L Castlerock Rose (IRE) 2/1
3 12L Up The Girls (IRE) 7/1
Trainer, R H Lalor; jockey, Ms E A Lalor; owner, Mrs R H Lalor.