THE Co Meath venue hosted its second consecutive fixture and it was the turn of the Meath and Tara Hunt who looked to follow on from last week’s successful card.

Proceedings sprang into action with a four-year-old mares’ maiden which went the way of the Jonathan Fogarty-trained debutant Easy Love (4/1), who ran out a two and a half-length winner for the Gaynestown Stud Partnership.

A race which had a dramatic conclusion as on the sharp home bend, the Finny Maguire-ridden Much Loved appeared to be travelling well at the head of affairs only to be carried out wide and run out two from the finish.

The winner’s task was further simplified when the long-time leader Katira Du Mestivel fell at the last when challenging at the time.

It did look however as if Barry Stone’s mount was getting the better of the argument and this daughter of Spanish Moon ran out a cosy winner, with the €24,000 Goffs purchase now likely to be sold.


The second division of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden saw the Much Loved combination of Finny Maguire and John Murphy gain deserved compensation courtesy of Rubber Ball (5/1), who ran out a four-length winner having fended off the challenge of Brookhouse.

The winner, who carried the colours of Oisin Mahon, fenced well throughout and came with what looked like a well-timed run to take up the running approaching the last.

The son of Yorgunnabelucky looks to have been well bought at £15,000 and having been one of the paddock picks before the off, connections have a nice individual on their hands, with the winning handler starting: “He’s a proper horse, we just wanted a good galloping track. Finny said he just cruised through it and took a blow going down the back. He’s got a big future.”


The first division of that four-year-old geldings’ maiden looked like if could have produced a very talented individual in the shape of Classic Creek (5/2 - evens favourite) for Cormac Doyle and the Monbeg Farm Racing Partnership.

Patiently ridden towards the rear for much of the contest, this son of Walk In The Park, who was a €65,000 Derby sale graduate, made menacing headway on the run to three out to draw alongside the long-time leader Game On.

On the run to the last he quickly asserted and quickened up smartly to the line to score by an impressive ten lengths under Jack Hendrick.

Soldier shoots down the opposition

DENIS Murphy didn’t have long to wait to get in on the action when his charge Shattered Soldier (7/1 - 8/1), a striking big chesnut son of Soldier Of Fortune, routed his rivals under Jack Hendrick to bring up a double on the card for the rider in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

Having the fourth start of his career, this was a polished performance as he left his rivals toiling in his wake on the run to two out and galloped powerfully to the line to score by some 20 lengths.

The task was made easier however with drama four fences from home when three runners came down, but the manner in which this €67,000 Tattersalls Derby sale graduate won, it would have been hard to envisage a different result.

“That horse was going to win this time last year and he fell at the fourth last in Loughanmore. That’s the first time he’s come back to himself, he’s got bags of ability,” commented Murphy.

“He slipped in the yard a few months back and just small things. Maybe he’s too big and I shouldn’t have been running him as a four-year-old I don’t know. I’ve been scratching my head about this lad but it’s nice he’s finally done it.”

The five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden went the way of the Claire O’Connell-bred and trained Born Bright (5/1) in the colours of her husband Paul O’Sullivan.

Better conditions

A daughter of Kalanisi who was having her fourth start, she clearly benefitted from better ground conditions to win by three quarters of a lengths.

Having looked held back in fourth approaching the last, the winner was game and showed brave battling qualities to get up home under Declan Lavery.

“We are delighted as her dam won this race as a five-year-old for Jamie Codd. Her sister, Born Famous, won six last year and Born Braver won in Naas a few weeks ago,” added O’Connell.

The unplaced maiden went the way of the William Martin-trained Mullanour (8/1), a son of Hillstar, who gain compensation for having took a false step in Lisronagh last time out which had resulted in him unseating his rider.

Carrying the colours of owner Frank Hamilton, his one-length victory over Dim The Lights sealed an opening and closing race double for Wexford rider Barry Stone.

Fleuron fights tough

A MASTER of his trade in open contests, David Christie sent out Au Fleuron (6/4) to score by the narrowest of margins to fend off the challenge of the fast-finishing The Wests Awake by half a length.

Previously in the care of Gordon Elliott, this bay son of Crillion went one better than his previous placing in Lisronagh last month and recorded his third win of the season for owners Ray Nicholas and Dr Sam Campbell.

Having been waited with towards the rear, this was a well-judged Shane Cotter ride, as the Ballynoe native delivered his mount to take a share of the lead three from home. Despite only scoring by half a length, he never looked like surrendering the advantage once he hit the front.

Horse to Follow

Much Loved (J. J. Murphy): She appeared to be coming with what looked like a winning run only to fail to make the final bend approaching two out. She should no doubt gain compensation next time out.