ALL roads led to Ballyvodock on Sunday for the Pigeon Hill & Carrigtwohill fixture and Johnny Barry experienced a stellar afternoon at the United Hunt-sanctioned meeting as he partnered a three-timer, the Conna native completing his hat-trick aboard the Jason O’Reilly-trained Getawayrooney in the mares’ open.

Getawayrooney (4/1 - 5/1), who returned from an absence last November having won three consecutive races in points during 2020, showed a return to form by finishing third to La Feline on her previous start at Corbeagh House in early December and she was bounced out in pole position here alongside Glenbeg Empress.

The eventual winner went for home from the third-last of the 13 obstacles and the recent Carrigarostig third Carrig Wells was in her slipstream on the run to two out.

A more potent danger to the nine-year-old emerged on the run to the final fence in the form of runner-up Fromheretoeternity.

The latter, however, blundered here as the winner, a daughter of Getaway, asserted on the flat to score by one and a half lengths in the silks of Reenscreena-based breeder Michael O’Neill.

Mare to beat

O’Reilly, who now operates from Kinsale, remarked of Getawayrooney: “She would have hated the ground in Corbeagh House, but I knew coming here today that she was the mare to beat if she was back to the level that she was at over two years ago.

“It’s great to get another win. We could go for the mares’ hunters chase at Cork over Easter.”

Barry’s two remaining winners were both supplied by Maike Magnussen, the handler recording an initial career double in the process and she signed off by saddling Busty Boy (3/1 – 5/4 favourite) to record a third success of the campaign in the winners of two.

A wide-margin winner at Turtulla two weeks earlier, Busty Boy always travelled well in this seven-runner contest and he progressed from mid-division to overtake long-time leader Ta Se Rua before the second-last.

The winning son of Ivawood, whose breeder Thomas Maher from Holycross was also present, was clearly in command approaching the final fence and he duly defeated Aghabullogue scorer Sir Rock by three lengths.

“Busty Boy is coming on the whole time and I’m delighted that he has won again today,” said Magnussen, who was bringing her seasonal tally to six.


Magnussen presently operates from the same Templemore yard that served the late Billy Harney, he of Monanore fame, with distinction and she will have been buoyed by the debut victory of the Barry-ridden Bridget Mary (4/1 - 5/1) in the five-year-old mares’ maiden.

This is because the Sholokhov-sired Bridget Mary was bred by Harney’s late wife Imelda out of the pair’s former five-time track-winning mare Leanne, who was also successful at Grade 2 level earning prize money in excess of €105,000 in the process.

It’s entirely appropriate that the Harneys’ two daughters, Linda and Rachel, are members of the winning six-strong Adelmi Syndicate.

In the race itself, Bridget Mary was always positioned towards the rear of mid-division and she moved closer from the third-last to dispute with patiently-ridden favourite Right Tempo from two out.

There was then very little to separate the duo with Bridget Mary shading the verdict by a short-head from Right Tempo with the pair both appearing to be well up to track standard.

DECLAN Queally has his team in cracking order and the Cappagh-based operator moved back alongside Gordon Elliott at the head of the handlers’ championship on 12 winners by sending out Ismael (evens - 6/4 favourite) to record a scintillating debut success under Chris O’Donovan in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, the race that attracted the biggest field of the afternoon in 15 runners.

The well-touted Ismael, a French-bred son of Coastal Path who was acquired for €38,000 at the 2021 Goffs Land Rover sale, was bounced out at the head of affairs and he disputed the running until edging into a narrow advantage from the fifth fence.

The ‘jolly’ gradually increased the tempo from the fifth-last and he was clearly travelling best on the long run from three out as the grey Syracus Du Houx gave pursuit in vain with the remainder of their rivals struggling further behind. Ismael drew further clear from the penultimate obstacle and, although blundering at the last, he still defeated Syracus Du Houx by 12 lengths with a similar margin back to the third-placed Park The Giant.

Queally, also on the mark with Doyen To Win over hurdles at Naas on the afternoon, was represented by his son and namesake.

Good jumper

The younger Queally observed of his mother Bernie’s Ismael, in whom Michael Walsh from Comeragh also holds an interest: “He’s a beautiful horse that’s a real good jumper and his work has always been impressive.”

Donie Murphy, absent on his way to Fairyhouse for Tuesday’s Tattersalls Ireland sale, sent out his third winner of the season from as many runners as his wife Geraldine’s homebred mare Roped In (evens – 4/5 favourite) vindicated the promise of her four runner-up efforts on the track by making a triumphant points debut under son James Murphy in the five-year-old and upwards adjacent hunts maiden for novice riders.

Roped In, equally at home over hurdles or fences, made smooth progress in fourth spot after three out and she mastered Down The Inner from the last to score by a half-length.

Focus hits target with first for Hyde

THE six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden saw the December Borris House runner-up Focus Point (7/4 - 2/1 favourite) provide handler Timmy Hyde’s 19-year-old grandson Dan Hyde with an initial points winner by coming home as he pleased, much to the dismay of the 18 bookmakers present.

The sweet-jumping Focus Point benefited from front-running tactics, drawing clear after three out, to beat the only other finisher The Big Breac by 40 lengths in the colours of the elder Hyde’s wife, Trish.

Horse To Follow

Right Tempo (S. T. Doyle): This previously once-raced daughter of Authorized, having travelled well off the pace, arrived to challenge from two out and was beaten a short-head into second spot. Compensation is likely to prove a formality and a successful track career also awaits.