DECLAN Queally has his string in a rich vein of form at present and the Cappagh-based operator sent out two winners at Sunday’s Ballindenisk meeting, hosted by the United Hunt Club.
Both of Queally’s winners were partnered by Chris O’Donovan, who actually went on to post a three-timer on the day.
Queally opened his account in the open with Lord Schnitzel (11/10 - evens favourite), a former Grade 1-placed novice chaser who won four points last season in addition to a Limerick hunter chase.
Dashing Perk and Act Of Time took the six runners along here with the eventual winner, a fine third to Cloudy Tuesday on his return to action at Kinsale in late October, covered up a few lengths off the pace.
Lord Schnitzel moved through to go second behind Dashing Perk on the run to the penultimate of the 12 obstacles and the Klaus Koentopp-owned bay assumed command before the last.
With Dashing Perk erring here, the victorious nine-year-old asserted on the flat to contain Turlough O’Connor’s mount by four lengths while there was a half-length break back to Castlebrook in third. Meanwhile, Michael Winters’ 2020 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase winner Chatham Street Lad faded from two out to return a further four lengths adrift in fourth on what was his initial points start.
Queally reported of Lord Schnitzel: “He’s a horse that’s better off stalking other horses. He will run in another open next month and the plan then will be to keep him fresh for the Aintree Foxhunters. I really think that the big fences at Aintree will suit him.”
Queally and O’Donovan then combined to collect the mares’ winners of two with Desert Heather (4/6 - 4/7 favourite), who was bringing her seasonal tally to three having obliged at Ballycrystal and Kinsale on consecutive Sundays in October.
The six-year-old Desert Heather, owned and bred by Harry Gettings from nearby Rathcormac, led until headed by Westie Rose four out.
The successful odds-on shot was back in front before two out and she gamely fought off Eamonn Gallagher’s Tender Heart to score by a length.
It’s possible that Desert Heather, who holds a mark of 85 over fences, could now return to racecourse duty.
O’Donovan meanwhile earlier landed the four-year-old maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the afternoon in 15 runners, aboard his father John’s well-touted newcomer Shanagh Bob (7/1 – 3/1 joint-favourite).
A €10,000 acquisition at last year’s Fairyhouse August sale, Shanagh Bob and recent Tatttersalls third In Limbo were mainly responsible for the generous pace until the pair were overtaken briefly by Indian Louis after three out.
Head of affairs
The son of Mahler was soon back at the head of affairs and he was clearly travelling best in the lead from two out as In Limbo soon had no more to offer in second spot.
Although giving his supporters some cause for concern at the last, Shanagh Bob was never in the slightest danger as he came home by three and a half lengths from the staying on Gorgeous Tom. In Limbo secured the minor honours, a further one and a half lengths adrift.
“He’s a lovely horse that has always shown a nice bit and we were hoping that he would run well,” said rider O’Donovan of Shanagh Bob, an early June foal who is named after an O’Donovan family friend in Bob Sheedy who hails from Shanagh.
Meanwhile Shanagh Bob, whose dam is a sister to the dam of listed-placed hurdler Too Scoops, was added to yesterday’s Tattersalls sale after racing at Cheltenham.
FORMER Cork All-Ireland winning footballer Paul O’Flynn was credited with his initial training success of the season as Quarry Tiepy (4/1 - 6/1) benefited from a well-judged front-running ride from Darragh Allen to capture the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.
Quary Tiepy, having finished third on her seasonal debut at Lisronagh last month, was challenged by favourite Sophie Gold approaching two out.
The daughter of Leading Light, whom handler O’Flynn’s father Tom shares with breeder John White, was faster away from this penultimate fence and she kept My Reprieve at bay from the last to score by a length.
The previous Sunday’s Moig South runner-up Sophie Girl hinted that her turn is imminent by returning third, a further one and a half lengths adrift.
Another handler to open his account for the campaign was Mark Scallan, who sent out The Doyen Chief (6/4 - 2/1 joint-favourite) to win the five-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden under Jack Hendrick.
The Doyen Chief, a first-fence faller on his debut at Scallan’s local Lingstown fixture the previous Sunday, eased to the front travelling well before the second last.
While runner-up Con’s Roc closed to within a couple of lengths at the final fence, the winning son of Doyen secured the faster jump here and he duly accounted for Terence O’Brien’s representative by two and a half lengths.
“He always does everything very easily and he will now go to the Cheltenham sales,” said Scallan of the Billy and Micheal Bates-owned The Doyen Chief, whose dam is a half-sister to the dam of Willie Mullins’ 2020 Paddy Power Handicap Chase winner Castlebawn West.
Mangan’s grey breezes to victory
JIMMY Mangan was in flying form following the victory of his wife Mary’s homebred grey Breeze Of Wind (2/1 - 3/1) with Eoin O’Brien in the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden.
The five-year-old Breeze Of Wind, who was placed three times last season, took the measure of Johngus before the last to score by two and a half lengths.
“Many a good horse started off by winning a confined maiden. We won a confined in Tallow many years ago with June’s Friend and Capture The Action also won a confined in Carrigtwohill,” Mangan related.
The handler went on: “A butcher can’t eat all his own meet and we’ll be selling. He should end up as a nice hunter chaser in England. “
Gorgeous Tom (G. J. Ahern): This son of Champs Elysees, whose dam is a half-sister to Cappa Bleu, came home well for second spot on his return to the fray in the four-year-old maiden. He appeals as a definite track winner.