THE Araglen, Co Cork handler Sean Allen is experiencing his best-ever season and he maintained his rich vein of form when sending out Prophet’s Corner (4/1 - 5/1) to spring a mild surprise in the featured ladies’ open at last Sunday’s Tipperary Foxhounds fixture held at Lisronagh.

Sent straight to the head of affairs from flag fall by first-timer partner Joanna Walton, last month’s Nenagh scorer Prophet’s Corner was soon tracked by both Artic Pearl and Heroes Of Renown.

Given the office by Walton on rounding the home bend for the final time, the son of Westerner found plenty from the back of the second last and ultimately had two and a half lengths to spare over odds-on favourite Au Fleuron.

“He just loves that really testing ground. It had dried out too much for him in Knockanohill last time, but back on that heavy ground today, he’s a different proposition altogether.

“As long as the ground stays as it is, he’ll run again in similar races,” commented Allen who is presently operating at a strike-rate in excess of 33%.

Walton’s boyfriend Chris O’Donovan had earlier seen his silks carried to victory in the four-year-old maiden courtesy of first-timer Douglas Hyde (3/1 - 5/2).

Front-running tactics

Handled by the successful owner’s father John, the Affinisea gelding was another to benefit from front-running tactics. The Eoin Mahon-partnered bay gained an early advantage he would not relinquish, quickening impressively in the closing stages to carry the day by four lengths from Sean Doyle’s Supreme George.

“We fancied him today so it’s great to get the job done. He’s a real professional sort, who’s never put in a bad piece of work and he jumped and travelled everywhere for Eoin. He’ll head to the Goffs UK Aintree Sale now,” said winning owner O’Donovan of his €10,000 Tattersalls Ireland July Sale purchase.

Not to be outdone by his sibling Sean, Darragh Allen was on the scoresheet in the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden through the Mattie Collins-handled Mary Stanford (5/2).

The daughter of Soldier Of Fortune was the sole newcomer in the five-runner affair and having made all the running under Allen, had the majority of her rivals crying enough some way from home en-route to a facile 11-length triumph over Suitably Surprised.

“Darragh liked her a lot there and felt she handled the ground very well. She jumped great too and couldn’t have done it any better,” reflected the winning trainer of his son Pat’s five-year-old who is another likely to come under the hammer at next month’s Goffs UK Aintree Sale.

Copper fulfils promise for Bowe

THE Colin Bowe-handled Copper Jack (5/1) stepped forward from his two promising autumn outings when claiming the 10-runner five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Rob James deputised for the sidelined Barry O’Neill aboard last November’s Tinahely second, and having battled for the lead with runner-up Phoenix Arizona from as early as the third fence, saw off the attentions of that rival after the second last with two and half-lengths separating the duo at the line.

“He’s a nice type who chased home a horse of Gordon Elliott’s [Kish Bank] in Tinahely who has won a Punchestown bumper since. He’s progressing all the time and will make a nice horse for someone on the track now,” stated Bowe of Copper Jack.

The Vincent Halley-trained Arctic Skua (3/1 - 5/1) gained a deserved success when running out a gutsy winner of the six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

In what was the closest finish of the afternoon, Arctic Skua, who had been the bridesmaid on no less than three occasions already this term, looked destined for a similar fate when headed by the Kiely family’s Ooksoo before the last.

However, the Pam Halley-owned seven-year-old bravely came with a renewed effort under Johnny Barry on the short run-in to oblige by a head.

“It’s great to get his head in front. He’d been running very well behind good horses,” remarked Vincent Halley.

“Sometimes the first win with a horse can be the hardest to get and we will look for a winners’ race for him next.”

Brickey digs deep for Kiely

HAVING had to settle for the runner-up berth with Ooksoo, the Stradbally, Co Waterford-located Kiely brothers struck in the five-year-old and upwards unplaced maiden with The Brickey Ranger (3/1).

Unlucky to unseat when in contention at Nenagh last month, the David Kiely-ridden Gamut gelding was left in front when favourite Dixie Mafia ran out on the bend following five out.

Thereafter, the Paul and Eamonn Veale-owned homebred dug deep in the straight to repel the persistent effort of Avenue De Pais by a length.

“He’s a nice horse who showed plenty on his last run. I’m delighted for the Veales as it’s their first horse with us.

“We’ll see how he is after this but he may run in a winners’ race at Curraghmore now,” observed victorious handler Paddy Kiely of The Brickey Ranger, whose dam Silver Serenade also shed her maiden tag at this venue in 2015.

Horse To Follow

Rucker Road (M. Flynn O’Connor): This Malinas-sired, fourth produce of a half-sister to John Quinn’s former Triumph Hurdle-victor Countrywide Flame, shaped with a great deal of encouragement in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Having suffered interference on the second circuit, this bay made considerable late progress to claim a never nearer third place. A similar contest looks within his capabilities.