THE annual Bruff meeting, hosted by the Limerick Foxhounds, took place at Rathcannon on Sunday and the Pat Doyle-trained Killaney King had many of those present searching for previously unused superlatives following his stunning debut victory in the four-year-old maiden.
The Flemensfirth-sired Killaney King (5/1 - 3/1), a €90,000 foal acquisition who is a half-brother to Grade 3 novice hurdle winning mare Just Janice and a grandson of three-time Grade 1-winning mare Liss A Paoraigh, was sent through by Pa King to dispute the running on the inner with Quornofamonday after the fifth of the 12 obstacles.
The eventual winner moved into a narrow advantage from three out and was challenged by odds-on favourite Scandisk Park, a Walk In The Park-sired half-brother to Hurricane Fly, on the run to the second-last.
The latter couldn’t raise his effort from this penultimate obstacle and was beaten in second, some four lengths adrift, when blundering at the final fence.
Killaney King meanwhile stormed clear on the ascent from the last to account for Quornofamonday by 12 lengths, with a length break back to Scandisk Park in third.
Handler Doyle wasn’t present and afterwards his wife Mary, in whose familiar colours the bay races but in whom Ivor McGrath and Gavin Fitzsimons also hold an interest, reported: “He’s a nice horse that did that well.”
Killaney King was supplemented to the Tattersalls sale in Cheltenham but was then sold privately.
Rider King went on to partner a double by teaming up with Willie Murphy to capture the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden aboard the grey Like Ta Ma (2/1 - 3/1), who finished third on two previous occasions including behind Kim Eyre in a competitive Kildorrery contest last term.
The seasonal debutante Like Ta Ma, equipped with cheekpieces, was sent straight to the front and moved into a commanding advantage on the long run to four out.
However, her three remaining rivals closed up before the second-last and the previous weekend’s Loughbrickland runner-up Finding Fame threw down a determined challenge approaching the final fence.
The winning daughter of Soldier Of Fortune landed the faster as her Paurick O’Connor-trained adversary lost some momentum.
While Finding Fame was gaining inside the final 50 yards, the line came in time for Like Ta Ma who held on valiantly to score by a head.
Owner-trainer Murphy was celebrating his initial success of the season and he also sent out Like Ta Ma’s dam Burnt Oil Babe, similarly grey in colour, to win five points and three handicap chases between March 2008 and October 2011.
The Sam Curling-trained 11-year-old Some Are Lucky (3/1 - 7/2) readily put his rivals to the sword under a well-judged frontrunning ride from first-time partner Toni Quail in the novice riders’ open.
Some Are Lucky, who was posting an 11th points success to add to his two victories on the track in Britain as a younger horse when trained by Tom George, jumped from fence to fence and he drew clear from two out to beat the Clodagh McAuliffe-ridden Castlebrook by 24 lengths.
Some Are Lucky is normally partnered by Gerry Spain, but he elected to ride his other horse Shannon Bridge on this occasion only for the former Dan Skelton horse to pull up when out of contention before two out.
Curling said: “Some Are Lucky is a funny horse, you would think that he wants good ground and then he goes on and wins in a canter on soft ground.”
He continued: “Fair play to Gerry [Spain] for letting Toni ride the horse today. Toni works with me now and I will be giving her plenty of chances in ladies’ opens.”
Rocky’s on a roll for Queally
A FEATURE of the autumn season has been the terrific form that handler Declan Queally’s horses are in and the absent Cappagh handler brought his tally for the campaign to six by sending out a double, both winners being partnered by Chris O’Donovan with the pair signing off courtesy of Rocky’s Howya (4/6 - 4/7 favourite) in the winners-of-three.
The recent Ballycrystal maiden scorer was sent straight to the front in this six-runner contest and he gave his many supporters some cause for alarm by erring three out.
He similarly was none too clever at the last, but runner-up Clonmeen wasn’t able to capitalise in any way with six lengths separating the pair at the line. There was a further seven and a half lengths back to the only other finisher Kitsilano in third.
“Rocky’s Howya will run away in the same type of races and hopefully he will win a few more,” remarked O’Donovan of the former 111-rated track performer that represents Mrs Margaret Kiely from Dungarvan.
Three Nations (8/13 - 2/5 favourite) initiated the Queally-O’Donovan brace by recording a bloodless front-running victory in the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.
The hooded Three Nations, placed twice previously in points for Tom Keating, made his initially start in the colours of Queally’s mother Bernie a winning one by powering clear from four out to defeat Ballycrystal runner-up Worth Presenting by 56 lengths. Queally’s representative Dylan Phelan intimated that Three Nations will now run in a winners’ race, provided he’s not sold.
Feronily fires in debut win
ELLEMARIE Holden, out of luck with the third-placed Scandisk Park in the four-year-old maiden, still featured amongst the winners as her newcomer Feronily (1/1 - 11/10 favourite) landed the five-year-old maiden under Derek O’Connor.
The Getaway-sired Feronily disputed the running from the sixth fence and drew clear on the incline from two out, then surviving a slow jump at the final fence, to beat newcomer Jeteye by 10 lengths.
“He’s a horse that has taken a bit of time and we’ve always thought a bit of him. He’ll now go to the Cheltenham sales,” reported Holden of her mother Catherine’s Feronily, a €34,000 graduate of the 2020 Goffs Land Rover Sale that’s out of a sister to Grade 1 chase winner Watson Lake.
Quornofamonday (I.P. Donoghue): A son of Libertarian that failed to make an impact in two hurdle runs in February, this fellow emerged a clear second best on his points debut in the four-year-old maiden. He should go one better in due course.