THERE was competitive fare right throughout last Sunday’s Clonmel Harriers-sanctioned fixture held at Turtulla, with a total of 61 runners in action across the six-race card.

Killane, Co Wexford-rider/trainer Rob James was the only rider to partner two winners and he got his afternoon off to the best possible start when steering Old Tom Morris (4/1 – 5/1) to victory in the opening five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

One of six newcomers in the field, Old Tom Morris, caught the eye when moving through from rear to track the leading Millforce before the third last.

Quickening up appreciably with James Kenny’s mount shortly after, little separated the pair at the final fence, however the Getaway-sired Old Tom Morris asserted in good style from an early stage on the flat and eventually registered a two and a half-length triumph.

Big engine

“That was a nice performance. He’s a horse with a big engine that has plenty of natural speed. I share him with Matthew Flynn-O’Connor but hopefully he’ll be sold now,” observed James who for good measure also trains the €75,000 store acquisition.

James brought up his brace, as the Harry Kelly-handled Now So Jake (3/1) ran out a convincing winner of the five-year-old and upwards adjacent maiden.

Owned and bred by John Palmer, the Mahler-gelding had shaped with a great deal of encouragement when fourth at Dromahane just over two weeks previously. Given the office by James before the third from home, Now So Jake galloped on resolutely up the home straight to outpoint Cicero Grimes by eight lengths.

“He ran a lovely race last time out on unsuitable ground. Rob was very good on him there today. I’m delighted for the Palmer family as they’ve been with me for a long time now. If this horse isn’t sold, we’ll head on to the track now,” outlined Kelly.

Defy absence

Piltown, Co Kilkenny-handler David O’Brien was on the mark in the five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden when sending out Hollow Rodger (5/2 - 3/1) to defy an absence of 336 days.

Placed on two occasions previously, including when runner-up in the same contest 12 months ago, the daughter of Beat Hollow was settled in third by Tom Hamilton as Copper Coast and latterly Work Away made the running.

Sent to the front before the fourth last, the six-year-old responded generously to Hamilton’s urgings after the penultimate obstacle and had little difficulty in accounting for Carroll’s Pride by six lengths. “This is a lovely filly who picked up a little injury after she finished third in Comea last season.

“The time off did her the world of good though as she’s strengthened up nicely. We’ll most likely go hurdling with her now,” remarked O’Brien of Hollow Rodger who sports the silks of his fellow parishioner Billy Cuddihy.

Ramillies returns back to top form

FOURTH to Its On The Line in a Down Royal Hunters Chase over Christmas, David Christie’s Ramillies (4/6 - 4/5 favourite) regained the winning thread in the ladies’ open.

Reunited with Susie Doyle following their wide-margin success at Moig South in November, the Shantou grey had main market-rival Somptueux for company at the head of affairs from flag fall. Although the Toni Quail-ridden De Nordener edged into contention at an early stage on the final circuit, at the business end, the Ramillies and Christie Family Syndicate-owned nine-year-old proved much too strong when recording an eight-length victory over Somptueux.

With Christie on duty at Punchestown, stable representative Chloe Watson stated: “That was a lovely performance, he’s in terrific form at the minute. Susie gets on very well with him. I’d say David will probably look for something similar for him now.”

Local pilot Doyle had to settle for the runner-up berth in the winners’ of one contest as the O’Donovan family’s Wise Move (5/2 - 5/1) maintained his upward trajectory this season.

Returning to the front-running tactics which he successfully adopted in a Tattersalls maiden in October, Chris O’Donovan’s mount found plenty from three out when thwarting the persistent challenge of both I Masked Du Potier and Peggy’s Rock to defeat the former by three lengths.

“This is a fun horse that joined us this season. He can be too keen for his own good at times but the hood has helped him. Hopefully he can pick up another winners’ race or two,” reflected the winning-rider’s father and successful owner/trainer John O’Donovan.

Meetme gets his head in front

PROCEEDINGS came to a close with a most competitive renewal of an INHSC bonus enhanced six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden.

Here, recent Boulta-second Meetmeatthepillar (3/1 - 4/1 co-favourite) obliged when making every post a winning one under James Murphy.

Eoin McCarthy’s pointing debutant Younowhatimean was similarly in the front rank throughout and along with Jack Go forced the Mattie Collins-handled victor to pull out all the stops in the closing stages but, in spite of wandering badly left-handed on the run-in, Meetmeatthepillar held on to claim the spoils by a rapidly diminishing length and a half. “We’re delighted to get that as we’ve had our fair share of seconds recently! We’ll aim for a winners’ race with this horse now,” said Mattie Collins, whose charge is shared between his wife Bridget and her brother Pat Hayes.

Horse To follow

The Mail Train (D.H. Kelly) This debutant son of Bullet Train posted an effort rich in promise in the opening five-year-old geldings’ maiden. Purchased by his current connections as a yearling, the bay made notable late headway in the closing stages to secure third position. He can easily go a couple of places better before he graduates to the track.