A TREBLE for the in-form Gordon Elliott powerhouse and the return of Samcro were the highlights of a seven-race card as the Wicklow Foxhounds held their annual fixture at a showery Tinahely.

The opening four-year-old maiden was divided, and Elliott kicked off his afternoon with the debutant Kish Bank (11/8 - 6/4 favourite) in the Crocodile Pockets Syndicate silks who won the opening division by 30 lengths.

The Mount Nelson gelding, partnered by Harry Swan, tracked the leaders before being sent to the front before two out and he quickly opened a widening gap over his nearest challenger Copper Jack to win unchallenged.

A €26,000 Goffs store purchase, this attractive bay is the first foal of Surtee Du Berlais, herself a four-time winner and looks a nice type for the future.

Elliott brought up his double on the card in the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden when the Crocodile Pockets Syndicate colours were back in the winner’s enclosure thanks to Big Stage (evens - 4/5 favourite) and Barry O’Neill.

Caught the eye

A €100,000 purchase by Mags O’Toole at the 2021 Goffs Land Rover Sale, the bay Walk in The Park gelding caught the eye both in the paddock and the market beforehand.

Sent straight into the lead by O’Neill, favourite backers never had a moment’s worry as he snugly scored by three and a half lengths from Well Del’ and Creegh Native.

Big Stage is the first foal of a Flemensfirth half-sister to Defy Logic and he looks to have been well named on this debut performance.

The open race saw the star attraction of the day in Samcro (2/7 favourite) re-appear for the first time since this corresponding fixture a year ago.

Back in the Gigginstown House Stud colours and partnered for the first time by Tom Hamiltion, the former Grade 1 star popped out in front and never saw another of his four rivals.


Jumping brilliantly, he drew effortlessly clear from three out before being heavily eased on the run-in to score by two and a half lengths from Dom Dolo, with Garm Colombe back in third.

The winning handler Gordon Elliott was busy preparing a team of 35 runners at Navan but did later report of his Tinahely hat-trick: “I’m very happy with both the maiden winners, Kish Bank and Big Stage, they are both nice horses.

“It’s great to see Samcro back, he will have one more run before the Foxhunters at Cheltenham all being well.”

Hawthorn heads Bowe team double

THE Colin Bowe, Milestone Bloodstock, Barry O’Neill combination have been in fine form this autumn season and they completed an across the card double in division two of the opening four-year-old maiden with Hawthorn Street (7/2).

The imposing Flemensfirth gelding created a favourable impression as he led from before two out to score snugly by three and a half lengths from Tambo’s Troops with Jackstell back in third.

An €80,000 Tattersalls Derby Sale graduate, the bay who is from the family of Shirley Casper, is held in high regard by his handler who stated: “He did there what he has showed us at home.

“He made a bad mistake and that ended his race on debut (at Loughanmore), but he was professional there.

“He jumps, stays, and has a real touch of class about him. He is a very exciting horse.”

Just five horses lined up for the mares’ maiden but it did see the consistent Neat Locality (5/2) finally gained a deserved success.

The Ask six-year-old had been placed on her last eight starts and was not winning out of turn for her owners John and Miriam Murphy.

Ridden by Frankie Murphy she led two out and stayed on strongly to beat Jollie Cosmos by four lengths.

Better known as a rider, it was Luke Murphy’s first winner as a handler having taken over the licence from his father John this season and he was quick to pay tribute to the man on board.

“She deserved that, she’s been knocking on the door a long time,” he said.

“Frankie gave her a great ride and he comes in to help me out a couple of days a week. She will head to a winners’ race now.”

Freemans gets a first win on the board

THE older geldings’ maiden for novice riders is always keenly contested at this venue and field of 10 went to post.

Victory went to a debutant in Freemans Bay (4/1) and James Murray as they overcame a bad mistake at the 10th to lead before the last from the pacesetting Haggard. and score by six lengths.

The Shirocco gelding is owned by Paula Murphy and Eadaoin Byrne and trained in Castledermott by Sean Byrne who reported: “There are no plans, but that was a good performance. He is out of a good race mare Oilily who was second in the champion bumper at Punchestown.”

A winner against the boys at Damma House two weeks previously, Shiroccosmagicgem (6/4 - 5/2) backed up that performance with a smooth success against her own sex in the mares’ winners’ of two contest.

Trained by Edward Power and in the colours of Liam Cleary, she was content to track the front-running Lilian Bland until two out before rider Gerry Spain sent her to the front, and that margin had grown to eight lengths by the line.

“That was good. She might get a little break now before heading for a mares’ hunter chase at Cork in the New Year, that’s what Eddie was thinking before today,” Ian Cleary, brother of the winning owner, explained.

Horse to Follow

Patriotik (D. Doyle: Second on debut at Toomebridge, he looked destined to fill the runners-up spot again behind the impressive Hawthorn Street but for falling at the last.

Having raced mid-division, he got outpaced when the race quickened but was staying on strongly when he fell and is one to note next time.