DENIS Murphy registered a double at the corresponding fixture last year and the Ballyboy Stables operator combined with Jack Hendrick to repeat the feat on a fine autumnal afternoon at the picturesque Co Wicklow venue.

Magneticattraction (4/5 – 11/8) provided the pair with their initial success in the five-year-old mares’ maiden, with Murphy also saddling the third Giveupyerauldsins in this four-runner affair.

Out of a sister to Grade 1 winner Casey Jones and bought for €25,000 as a three-year-old, the Mount Nelson victor dug deep in the closing stages to fend off the renewed effort of Ixigreczed.

The latter attempted to make all and while headed by the winner approaching the last, she battled back gamely on the run-in, going down by just a short-head.

“She had a good run last year and to be fair to the mare we probably shouldn’t have run her the next day, she had gone a bit light,” Murphy, who also owns the winner, reflected.

“She is only maturing and I’d imagine she’ll go to the sales.”


Murphy and Hendrick completed their brace in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden, with Iriko D’airy also defying a market drift (11/4 – 7/2) in the orange and white silks of the successful handler.

A €60,000 purchase at the Tattersalls Derby Sale, the French-bred bay was never far from the pace and got to the front on the approach to two out, keeping on well in the closing stages to hold off the fast-finishing Rockymountainbleu by a length.

“We gave him a run this time last year and we liked him. He was still backward, so we gave him a break,” Murphy explained.

“There was a lot of the yellow stuff [rapeseed] sowed around me last year and there was a load of my horses pulled up the week he pulled up and the week after, He goes well and will be fine. It’s been a right good day.”

Just four lengths separated the first four home in the opening four-year-old maiden, with debutant Justatan (5/1) coming out on top.

Trained by Michael Goff and owned by his wife Caitriona, the Estejo chestnut was never far from the pace under Mikey Sweeney.

Ridden to challenge before the last, he kept on gamely to overhaul Fury Lad in the closing stages, with half-a-length between them at the line.

“He is a very tough, genuine horse. JD [Moore] bought him as a foal in France,” Goff revealed. “You need a fairly straight lad to do it first time out around here and in fairness he couldn’t have done much more than that.”

Hyde may focus on hunter chase following victory

A HOTLY contested 15-runner open for non-graded winners went the way of Focus Point (11/2 – 8/1), the only track maiden in the line-up.

Trained by Timmy Hyde and given a perfectly executed front-running ride by his grandson Daniel, the Robin Des Champs seven-year-old quickly established a clear lead.

Still 25 lengths to the good from three out, the now six-time winner saw his advantage greatly reduced before the next but kept enough in reserve to hold off Fakir D’alene by three lengths.

Harry Swan, another grandson of the winning trainer, was aboard the runner-up, who came in for strong market support (3/1 – 6/4 favourite).

“He has been a great servant. He seems to like being out in front, he runs a bit free and ran a bit free today, but kept going,” Hyde, who trains the bay victor for his wife Trish, remarked.

“We have nothing in mind, but he has the option to go for a hunter chase on the track.”

There was another family success in the mares’ winner of one, with Andy Burke Ott guiding Dear Ryta (5/1) to success for his father Alex. Owned and bred by Eamonn Grainger, the Sholokhov five-year-old made the breakthrough at Ballindenisk in May and managed to reverse Liscarroll form with clear favourite Hathaways Cottage (4/7 – 4/6 favourite).

After attempting to make all under Barry O’Neill, the market leader was headed before two out and was a spent force in second when crashing out at the last.

The winner ultimately came home 18 lengths to the good, with Grainger commenting in the aftermath: “I bred her and bred her mother and grandmother as well.

“I didn’t have a point-to-point winner for 31 years until I met Alex. She is after winning two on the trot now thank God.

“We got a great welcome here and I’ve always found Wicklow people to be lovely. It’s a pleasure to come here.”

Student Briselden educates

the field with surprise win

A STUDENT at Trinity College Dublin, Pandora Briselden partnered her first winner when guiding You No Me Too Well (14/1) to a surprise success in the concluding six-year-old and upwards maiden for novice riders.

Fifth in this very contest 12 months ago and without a win in 26 starts, the Aidan Fitzgerald-trained eight-year-old pulled up on her return to action at Castletown-Geoghegan.

One of three representatives for Fitzgerald and the Cobajay Syndicate, the winning daughter of Doyen improved into a share of the lead after three out and established an outright advantage before the next.

Returning from a lengthy absence, Haggard stuck to his task gamely but couldn’t match the winner in the closing stages and went down by two and a half lengths.

“I’m originally from near Marlborough in the UK and I’ve been over here the last few years for college. I’m studying Spanish and Arabic in Trinity, but I’m riding horses more than I’m in college,” the winning rider quipped.

“I rode this horse twice last season, my first two rides point-to-pointing. She is a genuine mare and tries very hard.

“I’m in Scobie’s [Aidan Fitzgerald] a few days a week and he has been very good to me.”

Horse to Follow

FAKIR D’ALENE (G. Elliott): Returning from a lengthy absence, the three-time track winner came in for strong market support. While he ultimately couldn’t reel-in the front-running Focus Point, he made up a lot of ground to get within two lengths and should have little difficulty in going a place better soon.