THERE were fantastic scenes in the winners’ enclosure on Sunday after the older mares’ maiden contest that went the way of the Ross O’Sullivan-trained and Tom Harney-ridden Lady Mendoza (4/1 – 5/1).

Nearly all of the field held a chance at the third last before the winning daughter of Court Cave kicked for home under Harney approaching the second last, scoring by four lengths at the line from the Ross Sugrue-ridden Shesasuperstar.

“She’s a really good jumper,” said O’Sullivan of the A.J. Thompson and B. McMurray-owned five-year-old. “I know she fell the first day but that wasn’t her fault. She loves a bit of good ground. We sort of fancied her coming here. The horses have been running well, and she gallops and stays really well. The owners are from the north and she’s a filly that will keep improving. She’ll more than likely go to the sales now.”

Venture thrills

The opening four-year-old mares’ maiden only saw six runners face the starter but it produced a thrilling finish with the Warren Ewing-trained First Venture (2/1 – 3/1) coming out on top by a neck from the Luke Murphy-ridden Easy On Me with a further length back to Our Girl Sal.

Easy On Me looked the winner turning for home before Dara McGill got a flying leap out of the winning daughter of Soldier Of Fortune, as she got up close home. It was a fourth winner of the season for both the winning rider and winning handler.

Ewing, who also owns the winner, said: “She’s a grand mare. She jumped brilliant. She travelled well and Dara (McGill) gave her a patient ride.

“He’s a very good up and coming rider. Hopefully we’ll get going to the sales next week now.”

Flashy Boy quickens up smartly

THE five-year-old geldings’ maiden saw the Nicky Stokes-trained Flashy Boy (4/1 – 5/1) make all of the running to score by two and a half lengths from the Colin McKeever-trained Ballydisco.

The winning son of Sageburg, who was steered to success by Co Cork native Eoin O’Brien, held a narrow lead at the second last before quickening away from his rivals on the turn for home.

It was a third success of the season for Stokes and an 11th for O’Brien, who recently landed his 100th winner between the flags at Ballyknock.

“He’s improving and his experience came to the fore today,” said O’Brien of the Christine Keymer-owned five-year-old. “He handled that good ground well. He had stepped forward on each of his last few runs.

“He did it nicely at the line. There’s a good chance that he will be sold now.”

Day to remember for Murphy with a double

LUKE Murphy had a day to remember as he rode a double at the Meath venue that was kickstarted in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden Aboard the Rob James-trained Adieulevieux Enki (3/1 – 9/2). The winning son of Montmarte had pulled-up on his only previous run at Lisronagh in February but the 56-day break had clearly done him the world of good as he won by four and a half lengths from the Colin McKeever-trained Porthill.

The winning handler was on riding duties at Monksgrange but Murphy said, of the Matchmaker Syndicate-owned gelding: “There was plenty of drama! He was very good to jump. He’s a quick horse but we got into a few traffic problems turning in. He quickened away going to the last and I always felt that I was going to win.”

Murphy completed the double in the concluding five-year-old and upwards unplaced maiden that was confined to horses that had run at least twice and not previously finished placed. He steered the Mark Scallan-trained Coilrock (6/1) to a five-length success over the Denis Murphy-trained Bells Express.

Trishknowsbest quickly led and held a 40-length advantage at the halfway point before weakening after the third last and getting headed by the eventual winner who wasn’t passed from that point. Scallan said, of the Desmond Ellard-owned winner: “He loved that better ground. He had a very good run the first day when he was sixth in a hot maiden behind An Tobar. He ran twice on soft ground and that just didn’t suit him. He’ll be sales bound now.”

Barry family are A Rated

THE featured open contest saw a small but select field of five go to post that included the recent Tramore hunter chase second Er Dancer, the Stradbally winner The Forge Hill and Tattersalls winner A Rated (6/4 – 7/4).

It was the latter who came out on top after making all of the running to see off Er Dancer by three lengths. It was a real family success as the winner was ridden by Josh Berry, trained by his father John and owned by his mother Shirley.

It was a fifth career success between the flags for the 10-year-old and a third for the winning rider, with all three coming on this son of Flemensfirth.

“He’s flying,” said the winning handler. “That’s five runs now – three wins and two seconds. He has been a great servant since we got him from Liam Kenny. He’ll stay going in points now until the end of the season.”

Horse to follow

Our Girl Sal (D.P. Murphy): The well-bred four-year-old daughter of Sholokhov was the paddock pick and she ran an excellent race on her debut to finish third, beaten just over a length.

She’s sure to be in the winners’ enclosure shortly before progressing to bigger things on the track.