HEAVY overnight rain ensured that soft ground was the order of the day at Oldcastle last Sunday but those in attendance still saw some quality fare across the six-race card.

The opening four-year-old maiden saw six go to post with two of the six holding previous experience and it was one of that pair, Fortunate Solider (6/4 favourite), who made all for the father and son team of Liam and James Kenny.

The son of Soldier Of Fortune improved on his recent Lisronagh third to go two places better here, coming home a six-length winner over the Jack Hendrick-ridden American Sniper.

“He had a good run the first day when he was a little bit green,” said the winning rider of the Patrick Redmond-owned gelding.

“I wasn’t hard on him and he was a good third behind a useful looking Authorized horse of Ellmarie Holden’s. He’s after improving a fright from the first run.

“It was very straightforward today and he won with plenty in hand. I just kept it simple out in front. I’m not sure what we’ll do with him now.”

Three runners

The mares’ maiden disappointingly saw only three of the 14 entries stand their ground, with the trio being sent off as 6/4 co-favourites. Carlotalin made much of the running before being headed at the fourth last by Notkeepinyagoing (2/1 – 6/4 co-favourite) and Jamie Scallan.

The Mark Scallan-trained daughter of Califet extended her advantage from that point to come home a very easy 45-length winner from Carlotalin, who was left in second when Victoria Walk and Barry O’Neill came down at the last.

The winning rider said of the Laura Scallan-owned five-year-old: “It was very straightforward. In fairness to Mark, he was very confident coming here. Everything went to plan out there thankfully. She had a good run around here as a four-year-old so we knew she’d handle the track.

“I think she might be even nicer on nicer ground but she won very easily there so you would have to be happy with her. I’m not sure of the plan now.”

Biggest field

The five- and six-year-old geldings’ maiden saw the biggest field of the day with 16 heading to post and it was the debutant De Legislator (4/1 - 6/1), who emerged from the pack under Liz Lalor as the runners turned for home.

The son of Shirocco stayed on well close home to fend off the closing pack with Snake Roll and Jamie Scallan two lengths behind in second.

Tom Keating, who trains and owns the gelding, was on lead up duty, saying: “He’s a lovely, tough horse. We were hoping that he would win today and he’ll probably go to one of the sales now.”

Dorking stars in the open

STUART and Ben Crawford fired in a four-year-old double at Loughanmore on Saturday and they continued their red hot form at Oldcastle as Dorking Cock (1/1 - 6/4 favourite) ran out a tough winner of the featured open contest.

The son of Winged Love, who was most recently seen winning a hunter chase at Down Royal over Christmas, led into the straight and had to battle hard from the back of the last to fend off the fast-finishing Vis La Toi and Noel McParlan, who were a length and a half behind at the line.

“It has been a good weekend! He was very impressive at Down Royal but then had a wee bit of trouble with his splints so that’s why he hasn’t been seen since,” said the winning handler of the gelding whom he also owns.

“It was just unfortunate because I was hoping to go to Aintree with him but he was just a wee bit short of work. Punchestown might come too soon for him next week but if he comes out of today okay, it could be an option.

“He’s a relatively lightly raced horse too. He was bought to go hunter chasing but there’s probably a good handicap with him somewhere down the line so we’ll see.


“It has just been unfortunate the way everything has worked out with him this season as we were hoping to have a big campaign with him.”

Patrick Magee trained his first winner of the season in the older maiden, which was confined to novice riders, as Oran McGill steered Serious Mickey (4/1 – 5/1) to a three-length success over the Tara Cogan-trained Outrageous Fortune.

The winning son of Mustameet was given a patient ride by McGill before staying on strongly from the back of the last to get up close home after Walious Bay and Ivan Ryan came down when holding a slight advantage at the final fence.

The winner is owned by the Glassleck Racing Partnership, with the winning handler saying: “He’s a horse that has just taken a bit of time. He’ll go to the sales and he’ll be a fun horse going forward. We have about six or seven in training.”

‘Favourite’ Fair comes out on top

THE concluding winners’ race looked a match on paper between Sam Curling’s Stradbally winner Le Boulevardier and Paul Cashman’s Knockanard winner Present Fair (5/2 – 3/1).

That is exactly how the race panned out with the pair disputing for much of the contest before the latter went on under James Murphy from the second last to score by a cosy 10 lengths at the line.

“He’s a lovely horse and a yard favourite! He’s honest, he’s tough and he gallops and jumps. He’s a real old-fashioned chaser and we love him to bits! He has a great page and it’s a lovely family. He’s a fine big strong imposing horse.

“We’ll see what we do after that now. He’ll make a good open horse in time but whether we keep him or not, I’m not sure. That will probably be him for the year now,” said Cashman of the Catherine Cashman-owned five-year-old.

Horse to Follow

Walious Bay (J.G. Carr): The son of Watar still held the advantage when cruelly coming down at the final fence in the older maiden but he can atone for this mistake in the coming weeks.