A LARGE crowd gathered to see Barry O’Neill sign off the northern season with a treble, as he was crowned the region’s leading rider with 25 winners and in the process had a notable 42 percent strike rate which left him 15 winners clear of Derry native Dara McGill.

O’Neill’s treble was initiated in the first division of the four-year-old maiden, as Wendigo (2/1 - 9/4 favourite) produced a professional display in the colours of the Milestone Bloodstock.

The son of Great Pretender brought some useful form into the race, having looked booked for second on his debut at Lingstown before jinking and unseating his rider in the run-in.

The Colin Bowe-trained gelding was held-up in the nine-runner contest, making stylish progress into second four-out and seemingly going very strongly.

The €35,000 Tattersalls graduate looked like he was going to put the race to bed after the second last only to race very wide on the home bend and briefly drop to third.

Coaxed back onto the bridle, he quickly made ground to dispute at the last, quickening on the run-in and proving value for his winning margin of one and a quarter lengths with a gallant King Of Answers back in second.

“We have always really liked him. He is a great jumper and a real smooth traveller. Barry [O’Neill] gave him a super ride out there and he’s done it fairly easy at the finish,” said Bowe. “He will make a smart type on the track, and he will now be for sale.”

Bold Enough provided O’Neill with his second victory of the day in the form of a walkover in the open.

The race proved crucial for the son of Jeremy, as with nobody keen to take on the Ray Nicholas-owned gelding in his quest to become champion point-to-pointer, he moved onto the eight-winner mark for the season’s leading handler in the region David Christie.

It was the Maria Kavanagh-owned Theatrical Getaway (6/4 - 5/4 favourite), a recent facile victor at Dawstown who signed off the O’Neill treble with an authoritative triumph in the winners’ of one event.

Also providing handler Bowe with a brace on the card, the son of Getaway took up the lead from the third last, and from then on looked in control.

A two-length lead at the second last was reduced at the last by the rapidly closing Barton Snow, however with a shake of the reins from O’Neill on the run-in, the gelding pulled two and a half lengths clear.

“He is classy. He is big and scopey and I’d say he will have a bright future on the track,” said Bowe.

Doyle takes the back road to quarter century mark

DONNCHADH Doyle sent out his 25th winner of the season as Roadlesstravelled (3/1 - 5/2 favourite) gained a bloodless victory in the second division of the four-year-old maiden.

The €44,000 Tattersalls graduate, who is out of a half-brother to former Willie Mullins in-mate Abbyssial, had run better than the bare result suggested on debut at Loughanmore having been badly hampered and losing all chance at the second last.

The well supported son of Lauro tracked the leader for most of the contest under Rob James, showing plenty of speed to take up the running from the fifth last.

The Monbeg Syndicate-owned gelding quickened smartly approaching the last and quickly put a three-length advantage between himself and Strand Road, and with that challenger falling, he went on to score by nine and a half lengths.

“He pricked his ears, travelled and jumped like a buck. He is a quick horse, he sprinted down to the last for me,” remarked James.

The five-year-old mares’ maiden produced a thriller as Maggie O (6/1 - 7/1) prevailed finding a plenty for pressure on the run-in to head the long-time leader and well-supported favourite Barrons Land. The Sean Doyle-handled mare was always prominent and made her move from before three out. The daughter of Getaway was on the back foot coming into the straight, with a few lengths to find at the last as Barrons Land seemed to be going best in front. With that rival making a mistake at the last, the Jim O’Neill- owned filly dug feep on the flat and picked up ahead of steam to head the favourite close home, obliging going away by half-a-length.

Raceview Road (7/1 - 8/1) continued the rich vein of form of handler Ger Quinn by stylishly obliging in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The son of Milan was left second after six out with the departure of two of his rivals, and the race changing complexion significantly.

The Phillip McBurney-owned gelding led from the second last, sprinting into a two-length advantage at the last, before keeping on very strongly on the flat to prove value for his winning margin of three and a half lengths from an eye-catching Kinturk Kalanisi on his debut for Tom Gibney.

“We always thought a lot of him, he was probably a bit green the first day and Noel [McParlan] said bring him to Newry in two weeks’ time and he would be hard to beat,” remarked Quinn.

Nothing rusty with McCluskey’s last winner of the season

HANDLER Neil McCluskey signed his season off with a winner as Rust To Riches (3/1 - 7/2 favourite) showed a gusty display in the the older geldings’ maiden.

The lightly raced son of Shirocco had some smart form in the book having placed behind useful sorts such as Mount Wilson prior to running a blinder when second at Toomebridge on Monday behind Tech Talk.

He was waited with patiently throughout and made good progress into third four out. He was ridden from the third last but made good ground into a clear second two from home. He still had a few lengths to find with the trail-blazing Ballydangan at the last, although found plenty on the flat under a strong Darragh Higgins ride to oblige by a length and a half at the line.

Horse to Follow

Strand Road (C. McKeever): The son of Flemensfirth showed a great deal of ability of his debut having been set for second before falling at the last and can make amends next time out.