YOUNG Lombardstown, Co Cork-jockey Alan O’Sullivan is in red-hot form at present and he was the only rider to partner two winners at last Sunday’s Stonehall Harriers fixture held at a fine Moig South.

Michael Griffin’s second-timer Backmersackme (4/1 - 5/1) got O’Sullivan’s afternoon off to the best possible start when claiming the four-year-old geldings’ maiden, a contest which saw a pair of fences omitted on each circuit due to the low-lying sun.

An encouraging fourth on his debut in Tralee last April, the white-faced Getaway gelding benefitted from an excellent O’Sullivan waiting ride when coming from some way behind the pace-setting Rock On Jet to head that rival close home and carry the day by a snug two lengths.

“A couple of mistakes put paid to this lad’s chance first time out but Alan said he never missed a beat today. He’s a horse with loads of ability though and he’ll be sold now,” outlined Griffin of Backmersackme whom he acquired as a store with his son-in-law Andy Pierce.


Moving on to the four-winner mark for the season, O’Sullivan successfully combined with Castletownroche-based handler Marie Harding for the second consecutive weekend as Brave Endeavour (4/6 favourite) destroyed his six opponents in the concluding six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

Taking over from the front-running And Still I Rise after the fifth fence, the Jamie O’Brien-bred and owned Arctic Cosmos gelding was sent about his business by O’Sullivan after the second from home and drew clear in fine style to account for Arctic Skua by a widening 16 lengths.

“This is a very useful horse that did very well to finish third on his debut in Kildorrery last season as he was badly hampered. I’m over the moon for Jamie, who is from Buttevant, as he rides out for me an odd day and loves the game,” said Harding.

Another young rider who will hold fond memories of the fixture is 19-year-old Dungarvan, Co Waterford-native Kieran Power as he enjoyed a first winner in the saddle aboard former handicap hurdler Morrie In D Quarry (evens - 5/4 favourite) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Moved through

Now handled by Declan Queally, having previously been in the care of Ross O’Sullivan, the winning Mahler gelding moved through to challenge Bigbraveboy on rounding the final bend.

Thereafter a good tussle followed and although the pair were in the air together at the final fence Morrie In D Quarry found that little extra under Power on the short run-in to oblige by half a length. “I’m delighted with that. I ride out for Declan two mornings a week and have been going in to his place for about two years now. I’m farming at home and also attending Kildalton Agricultural College so it’s all go,” reflected Power.

First Confession gets the blessings

TRAMORE, Co Waterford-located owner/trainer John Flavin appears to have a useful sort on his hands in the form of First Confession (3/1 - 4/1) who made a victorious debut in the four-year-old auction maiden.

James Hannon sent the Affinisea-sired bay to the front shortly after the third last and he soon had Paurick O’Connor’s General Briar in his slipstream.

Belying his inexperience, First Confession, an €18,000 purchase at last year’s Tattersalls Ireland July Sale, kicked clear again after the second from home and latterly always appeared in control to repel the previously-placed General Briar by a length and a half.

“This is a very nice horse, he’s the best I’ve had anyway! I bought his full-brother at this year’s Land Rover Sale on the strength of this lad,” remarked Flavin. “James said he travelled away everywhere for him and got through the ground okay. He’ll be sold now.”

The previous Sunday’s Turtulla scorer Ramillies (1/5 - 1/4 favourite) quickly doubled his seasonal tally when claiming the five-runner ladies’ open in utterly comprehensive style for the absent David Christie.

Relentless gallop

In a race that only ever concerned the victorious Susie Doyle-partnered eight-year-old and runner-up Amenon, last December’s Thurles Beginners Chase-winner Ramillies kept up a relentless gallop from the third-last to score by some 44 lengths.

Registering her third win of the season, Doyle commented of the Ramillies & Christie Family Syndicate-owned grey: “That was brilliant, he did everything I asked of him very easily. Ideally I would have liked to have Amenon for company for longer but he was very good all the way to the line and I’m just very grateful to David and the rest of the owners for giving me the ride.”

Millie makes big impression

LAST season’s leading under-21 rider Dara McGill is presently operating at a strike-rate north of 30% and he recorded his ninth success of the current campaign as newcomer Millie B (4/1 - 6/1) ran her rivals ragged in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden.

Handled near Clonmel, Co Tipperary, by Tom Keating for his neighbour John O’Leary, the daughter of Workforce led from flag fall under McGill and ultimately ran out a convincing nine and a half-length winner from Danesfort Mayfly.

“This is a lovely mare and as you could see there she has a great attitude. Dara kept it simple on her and liked her a lot. I’m not sure will John race her on the track now or sell her,” stated Keating.

Horse to Follow

Rock On Jet (M. Gannon): This strong-travelling son of Jet Away, a half-brother to a six-time track winner, looked set to score for much of his debut in the opening four-year-old maiden. Eventually overhauled close home by Backmersackme, he can easily gain compensation in the near future.