THE annual northern region fixture on Grand National day was held at Taylorstown with Wexford rider Barry Stone earning a first career treble initiated in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden when he steered the John Walsh-trained debutant Wideeyedandlegless (6/1 – 8/1), to a taking four-length success.

The son of El Salvador made all in the hands of Stone and won with a bit in hand at the line from the Colin Bowe-trained Noche Negra. It was also the first of a double on the day for the winning handler.

“He made all there and did it well. I thought he would have been a bit green but he wasn’t. John had him fairly straight,” said Stone of the Sean Connick-owned winner. “He jumped slightly left at times so it probably would have suited him to have gone the other way. He’s a nice horse and I’d say that he’ll probably go to the sales now.”

Stone and Walsh teamed up for a double on the day as Cluain Aodha (3/1 – 5/2 favourite) ran out a two-and-a-half-length victor in the mares’ maiden.

Seven of the eight starters held live chances turning for home but it was the daughter of Darsi who burst through to score from the Bernadette Murphy-trained Shesasuperstar.

The winner provided John Walsh, who was on lead up duties, with his third winner of the current campaign.

“It’s nice to get a double, especially for Johnny who has supported me the whole time. She deserved that. She was a good third in Lingstown and her form was really standing up. She’ll probably go to the sales now and hopefully she’ll do well going forward,” said Stone of the Thomas Browne-owned winner.


Stone brought up his treble in the winners’ contest, courtesy of the Brian Jordan-trained Kalanisi Flash (2/1 – 7/4).

The son of Kalanisi was coming here off the back of winning his maiden at Lisronagh two weeks ago and he was always prominent under Stone, with the pair eventually getting the better of long-time leader Tamlaght Eyes and Noel McParlan close home.

There was a length separating the pair at the line with the Inish Stables Partnership-owned winner now heading to the sales now according to his winning handler.

“He did it well. He’s a lovely horse and he won well the last day as well,” Jordan said. “He won with plenty in hand because he was looking at the crowd as he crossed the line. He’s a big, laid back sort of horse. He’s improving with each run.

“If you had tried to train him to run as a four-year-old, you would have been at nothing because he was a shell of a horse. He just needed time and he’s getting better with every run. He’ll go on any ground too.”

I Will Be Baie scores for Bowe and O’Neill

THE opening four-year-old maiden saw a combination of newcomers and once-raced horses, with the race quickly developing into a match from the back of the last between the Colin Bowe-trained I Will Be Baie (2/1 – 9/4) and the Warren Ewing-trained Breaking Cover. The former eventually came out on top close home, with two and a half lengths separating the pair at the line.

It was a 28th success of the season for Bowe and a 40th for the winning rider Barry O’Neill. “He’s a smart horse and he should improve plenty for that. He’s a quick horse who has a sharp pedigree. He’ll go to the sales now,” said Bowe of the Milestone Bloodstock Ltd-owned winner.

Some Man (4/6 – 4/7 favourite) bounced back to form in the featured open contest by making all, after a below-par effort at Lisronagh last time out.

The Ray Nicholas-owned gelding, who had most recently won at Kirkistown in February, never had a single moment of worry under Rob James as he recorded his seventh success between the flags from just 10 starts. Premium Package and James Kenny were the ones who got closest to the winner as they finished a five-length second.

“It was very straightforward,” James said of the David Christie-trained horse. “There wasn’t much pace on so I said that I would just bounce out and make it, to keep it simple. He finished third in a good open at Lisronagh the last day but he bounced back to himself again today. I’m not sure what David has planned for him but we’ll enjoy today.”

Knocky toughs it

out to land

first win

THE concluding older maiden saw nine runners face the starter and it was the Gerald Quinn-trained Knocky (5/1 – 6/1) who ultimately came out on top on his stable debut.

The previously once-raced son of Watar was always prominent under Oran McGill and the pair weren’t for catching as they hit the front after the third last to come home half-length winners from the Caroline McCaldin-trained Grand Soufle. It was a fifth success of the season for Maghera, Co. Derry native McGill.

“We thought that he was a couple of weeks off a run,” said Quinn of the James Brown Kerr-owned winner. “We would have liked to have got a couple more gallops into him because we think there’s a bit more improvement in him. I’ll chat to the owners now and see what they want to do with him. He was tough after the last there and he did it well at the line.”

Horse to Follow

Breaking Cover (W. Ewing): The four-year-old son of Getaway did little wrong in the opening maiden before getting collared by the winner close home. He looks sure to go close again next time out before sampling track success in the future.