THERE was some competitive fare at Sunday’s 21st anniversary Boulta meeting, staged under the auspices of the West Waterford Foxhounds, and the John Murphy-owned and trained Kitsilano destroyed the opposition under 5lb claimer Adam Feeney in the truly-run winners of one.
Kitsilano (5/2 - 7/2), an authoritative Bandon adjacent hunts maiden victor last term, was always positioned close to the pace as Well P and then War Call took the eight runners along.
The victorious five-year-old moved ever closer from the fourth-last of the 12 obstacles and he made his way to the front three out.
The eventual winner was clearly containing Dundaniel, whom he likewise beat at Bandon back in February, between the final two fences with 35 lengths separating the pair.
The odds-on favourite War Call faded from before three out to return a further eight lengths adrift in third spot.
In the absence of Murphy, who also bred Kitsilano through his Highfort Stud, Feeney remarked: “He needed the run the last day in Rathcannon. He did that very easily and is one to look forward to.”
The Murphy-Feeney alliance were desperately unlucky not to depart with two winners as Ballyvaughan Bay, who shares his sire Fame And Glory with Kitsilano, fell when travelling best with a two-length advantage at the final fence in the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden.
Last seen when finishing a creditable ninth of 21 in a Punchestown Festival bumper in April, Ballyvaughan Bay made the best of his way home from two out. He then brought down Flash Conroy, who was held in third spot at the time, at the last.
The newcomer Hey Brother avoided the mayhem and was duly left in front, but he wasn’t able to withstand the late challenge of Damian Murphy’s seasonal debutant Rockwiththetimes (4/1 - 6/1) who came through under Harley Dunne to oblige by a half-length.
“He was all wrong last season,” said Murphy of the Shirocco-sired Rockwiththetimes, who pulled up on his only previous outing at Ballyvodock in January. It’s likely that Rockwiththetimes, whom his handler’s wife Jane Foley owns in partnership with Mrs Catherine Cashman, will now be sold.
The preceding four-year-old geldings’ maiden, an event that saw two fences bypassed due to the low-lying sun, likewise witnessed plenty of drama with the whole complexion of the race changing two out.
The leader Doughmore Bay approached this penultimate fence with a length advantage but fell with the pursuing Champagne Admiral likewise independently coming to grief whilst a similar fate befell Paddy De Pole in fourth spot.
Local Ballynoe-based handler Paul O’Connell’s well-touted newcomer Yes Day (2/1 - 9/4), a son of Court Cave who was in third spot jumping the second-last, was duly left in the lead and the €17,000 Goffs Land Rover Sale graduate was in no mood to be denied in the closing stages as he fought off the closing The Blue Thrill by a length in the hands of Darragh Allen.
“I’m delighted for my parents Margaret and Billy who own this horse with my brother David and I,” reported handler O’Connell who also sent out Laser Light to finish second to Robin Roe in a division of this same race in November 2015.
“He was ready to run last season and I actually didn’t sleep much last night. He’ll be sold now.”
La Feline play all the aces
DEREK O’Connor, out of luck aboard Doughmore Bay in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, is experiencing a fine season and the Galwegian partnered two winners with Sam Curling’s long odds-on shot La Feline (1/6 - 2/7 favourite) providing him with the concluding leg of his double in the three-runner open.
La Feline, also successful on her return to the fray at Lisronagh just over three weeks earlier, controlled this slowly-run contest from the front and she was actually briefly overtaken by runner-up Thekingofconnemara after three out.
However, the Skehanagh Stables inmate was clearly possessing all the aces from two out and she defeated the admirable 15-year-old Thekingofconnemara by an unextended length.
The John O’Leary-owned La Feline has now won five points over the past two seasons while she also landed a Limerick mares’ hurdle in January 2020 when under the care of Paul Nolan.
O’Connor instigated his brace aboard the Gavin Cromwell-trained first-timer Bioluminescence (1/1 - 5/4 favourite) in the four-year-old mares’ maiden, much to the dismay of the 10 bookmakers present.
The Walk In The Park-sired Bioluminescence, who did well to survive serious interference at the second-fence, moved closer from four out and she eased to the front from the second-last to dismiss the pacesetting Lily’s Choice by an eased-down 20 lengths in the colours of the Danestown Racing Partnership.
“She’s a very straightforward filly. She was as cool as a breeze in the parade ring beforehand and is now for sale, “remarked Cromwell’s representative Alan Hannigan of the Danestown Racing Partnership-owned Bioluminescence, a half-sister to two winners including Jonjo O’Neill’s mare Dollar Bae from the same family as Bonalma. The winner wass acquired for €60,000 at last year’s Derby Sale.
DUL AR Aghaidh (3/1 - 4/1) returned to a rapturous reception on providing handler Jimmy Kelly with an initial training success with just his second runner in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.
Dul Ar Aghaidh, having acquitted herself well by coming fifth on her only previous start at Nenagh last March, set off in front under Brian Dunleavy with the winning daughter of Mahler going further clear from half-way as Lady Kate was the only rival that set off in pursuit.
Dul Ar Aghaidh, representing the eight-member The Gifted Syndicate from Fermoy, was showing no signs of stopping from the third-last.
Although Lady Kate closed to within 10 lengths from two out, she was making no impression in second when falling at the last as Dul Ar Aghaidh was left clear to beat Dixies Girl by 60 lengths.
Admiral (R. Hickey): This son of Mount Nelson, a Derby Sale graduate, held every chance in second spot when falling two out on his debut in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden and he should easily develop into a track winner.