A BARRY O’NEILL treble was the highlight of a good day’s racing enjoyed by a good crowd at a murky Lingstown as the Killinick Harriers held their annual spring meeting.

O’Neill led the jockeys’ championship by 10 winners over his nearest rival, the injured Rob James, going into the meeting and doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of letting up in his quest for a seventh title.

He kicked off his afternoon in the opening four-year-old mares’ maiden aboard the well fancied Mayor’s Walk (2/1 - 7/2) for his boss Colin Bowe and she posted a most impressive display as she quickened up smartly to beat Jasette D’Irlande in a thrilling finish by three-quarters of a length with Kilbarry Saint a head back in third.

Carrying the colours of Stephen McCarthy and breeder Kieran Cotter, the daughter of Walk In The Park was never far off the pace in this hotly contested 12 runner event.

Plenty held chances three out, but the front trio quickened up smartly and had a good battle to the line.

Out of the three-time winner Hell Cat Maggie, she is now destined for the sales and left her rider impressed by the performance as O’Neill stated: “I was in front too soon and when something came to her, she pulled out more and did it well. She’s very smart.”

Easier winners

O’Neill won’t ride many easier maiden winners than Banprionsa (4/6 - 1/1 favourite) in the five-year-old mares’ maiden.

The Kayf Tara mare was visually the most impressive winner of the day as she sauntered to a 22-length victory over the gallant Jetaway To Getaway (4/1) under a motionless O’Neill.

The debutante trained by Richard Black and carrying the colours of Austin Fanning and Garry Hadden travelled supremely under a confident ride in a race run at a blistering pace from flag fall that had the field well strung out and saw just four finishers who returned at wide margins.

“Luke Murphy [out injured with a broken collarbone] has done all the work with her,” O’Neill said. “She was very impressive, they went a very fast pace and she was comfortable everywhere and I was in front a mile too soon. She was impressive and will head to the sales.”


The champion rider brought up his treble in the last, a maiden race for handlers with 10 winners or less.

Teaming up with Tom Dreaper aboard the Knockalough Syndicate-owned mare Lady In The Park (3/1 joint-favourite), he employed patient tactics before coming through to lead two out and then staying on well close home to beat the front running El Champo (7/1) by half a length with a further 10 lengths back to Neat Locality (4/1) in third.

A delighted Dreaper saddling his fifth winner of the season reported: “She was immature in the autumn; I gave her a run and it brought her on a mile. Big galloping track suited her, she is a lovely mare and is sales bound now.”

Jalon registers smooth success

THE Monbeg Syndicate, Donnchadh Doyle, James Walsh combination were in top form on the day as they landed a maiden race double with two smart looking newcomers.

The four-year-old geldings’ maiden went to Jalon D’Oudairies (4/5 favourite) as he recorded a smooth five-length success over Hell Hound and Tommy Combats.

Travelling smoothly throughout, the No Risk At All gelding quickened clear and had matters in hand when his nearest challenger Wendigo parted company with his rider on the run-in.

Eamon Doyle representing his brother, who also saddled a winner at Belclare, added: “He is a lovely horse. He is owned in partnership with Johnny Collins of Brown Island Stables and will head to the sales now.”

The Monbeg team brought up their double in the maiden for five-and six-year-old geldings with Incognito Fatal (6/4 - 5/4 favourite) producing a debut performance full of potential as he got the better of a good battle with Captain Butler from the last to score by a length as they pulled 16 lengths clear of Backbyjet.

The good-looking son of Network had cost connections £36,000 as a store at the Goffs UK Spring sale and an impressed Eamon Doyle was most complimentary of him as he said: “He is a big fine horse, he is gorgeous looking. We gave him loads of time and he is a nice horse for the future. He is for sale.”

Island is the banks’ boss

THE open race over the Lingstown banks course always draws the crowds in large numbers and this year’s running proved no different.

A field of 13 went to post with several banks’ regulars among them. Local favourite Vital Island (5/4 favourite) was sent off favourite to add to his star billing and the course specialist didn’t disappoint his followers.

Under local jockey Tiernan Power, the 11-year-old gelding gave an exhibition of jumping around a course he knows so well, leading three out and drawing clear to score by five lengths from A Rated with Old Style Humor back in third.

Owned and trained by Richard O’Keeffe, the Trans Island gelding was winning for the fifth time over the banks at this venue, adding to his Knockanard and Punchestown banks’ wins.

A trip to Cheltenham had been on the cards but a delighted O’Keeffe decided not to travel as he looked certain to miss the cut and stated: “All roads lead back to Punchestown. He loves it here. The Ladies Cup again and the La Touche is where we will aim.”

Horse to Follow

Bluey (W.J Codd): This four-year-old daughter of Affinisea was sent off favourite in a red-hot looking mares’ maiden.

A €45,000 store purchase at Tattersalls, she is well related as her dam is a half-sister to Mystic Theatre and Morello Royale.

Patiently ridden she never really landed a challenging blow but did finish off her race strongly and went into plenty of notebooks for next time.