MARCH has been a good month for trainer/breeder/owner Con O’Keeffe. He trained Kilbarry Lilly to win a mares’ maiden hurdle at Leopardstown and then three days later he sent out Kilbarry Calling to take a mares’ beginners chase at Thurles. The latter nearly went in again when third to Highest Benefit in a handicap chase at Clonmel this week.

What made it a better month was the fact that O’Keeffe had both his mares signed up to the Weatherbys ITBA National Hunt Mares Bonus. That meant that on top of the prize money of €17,248 won by both, there was two more sets of €5,000 added to it. Not bad work for two mares and scarcely comparable with the way things were 10 years ago.