THE weather at Castletown-Geoghegan’s spring fixture was in stark contrast to the wind and rain of their autumn meeting as the sun shone throughout the day.

The adjacent winners’ race may only have had four runners, but it featured three winners from the previous weekend’s action and it saw the Peter Flood-trained Beyond Redemption (6/4 – 7/4) score a fourth success from nine starts between the flags.

The Georgie Benson-ridden son of Court Cave took up the running at the second last, from the long-time leader Everything Now, and had to be game up the run in to fend off the persistent runner-up Cappajune Lady and Tom Geoghegan. There was three-quarters of a length separating the pair at the line.

“Georgie gave him a great ride and he only won last week but when the ground is good, we have to keep him going. We’ll go to Cork for a maiden hunters’ chase in Cork in two weeks’ time next,” said the winning handler of the Teresa Flood-owned winner. “Georgie’s a good rider and very good over a fence, so we’re delighted. It’s great to have one of those older ones who keeps winning!”

Tough Storminhome

The five-year-old geldings’ maiden saw Liam Kenny record his first winner of the season as Storminhome (3/1 – 2/1 favourite) came home a length-and-a-half winner, from the Colin Bowe-trained Heaven Smart.

The winning son of Frammassone took up the running at the halfway point and was tough out in front, under James Walsh to hold off the more experienced runner-up.

The winning rider said of the Noeleen Kenny-owned winner: “I wanted to be handy but he winged the first couple so I just let him roll on. He stayed going really well. Liam gave me plenty of confidence and said that he would take plenty of beating today.”

The Red Menace edges thrilling finish

THE featured open contest saw a thrilling finish between the David Christie-trained Handy Headon, and the Shane Ryder-trained The Red Menace (2/1 – 3/1), with the latter coming out on top. Handy Headon led for much of the contest before the Paul O’Neill-ridden winner challenged him at the last and went on to score by a length.

“He was a good horse for Noel Meade – he won five times and was rated 135. He has a few little issues but we seem to be on top of them now so we might have a little bit of fun with him in this sphere now. He likes a bit of nice ground,” said Ryder of the Darragh O’Dowd-owned eight-year-old.

“We have a local meeting in Eyrecourt in a months’ time, so it would be nice to win there. He’ll stay point-to-pointing for the minute but we might go for a handicap chase in the summer if he shows that kind of enthusiasm. As long as he’s enjoying it, we’ll keep him.”

No stopping Porter

The mares’ maiden saw a massive field of 18 go to post but it was the Mark Fahey-trained favourite, Porter In The Park (2/1 – 3/1 favourite), who made all to score for Johnny Barry, in the colours of owner/breeder John Redmond.

The daughter of Walk In The Park quickened away from her field at the second last, to score by two and a half lengths from the staying-on Stop This Train who was ridden by Ivan Ryan.

“She had a great run the first day but we were a little bit disappointed that she didn’t win that day. She probably needed that run but she was very good today as she did it from the front. John and Marie, who own her, also bred her and they would like to sell her on,” said Fahey.

“If she’s not sold, they’re happy enough to go back for a bumper with her now. Eighteen-runner point-to-point maidens in Ireland are hard to win, so she was good to do it from the front.”

Buzzard flies in on the good ground

THE concluding older geldings’ maiden saw a €1,000 bonus being awarded to the winner courtesy of the INHSC, with that cheque going to Buzzard Trix (6/4 – 3/1). The Noel McParlan-ridden and Sean McParlan-trained winner was always prominent and despite a mistake at the last, he stayed on well close home to score by four lengths from Colin McKeever-trained Toombridge.

The winning son of Court Cave had recently unseated at Portrush 169 days earlier.

“He was a big, weak horse and he wasn’t broken until he was a five-year-old and then I got him when he was six. He loves good ground so I’ll see whether the owners want to keep going with him or he might be for sale,” said the winning rider of the Riverstown Racing Syndicate-owned winner.

Ballybeg is Boss

The opening four-year-old maiden saw a small field of three go to post but it turned into a cracking contest as Ballybeg Boss (6/4 – 3/1) and Amarillobymorning took each other on from a long way out, with the former coming out on top by three lengths.

The Brian Dunleavy-ridden, and Rob James-trained winner had finished third on his debut at Lingstown three weeks earlier with the winning rider saying, of the Matchmaker Syndicate-owned gelding: “All he does is gallop and gallop and gallop. Rob said that he would stay all day and he did just that.

“We quickened it up early as I wanted to turn into a true run race, rather than letting it turn into a sprint. I’d say that he’ll go to the sales now.”

Horse to Follow

Heaven Smart (C. Bowe): The son of Saint Des Saints has now finished in the runner-up position in his last two runs, and he looks certain to go one better in the coming weeks.