EASY Game won Listowel’s John J. Galvin Chase for the third consecutive year on Monday, as the Willie Mullins-trained, Nick Peacock-owned gelding registered a 19th career success, when scoring under Paul Townend.

Easy Game (5/2 favourite) was rated 5lb inferior to stablemate Saint Sam (155 — 160) coming into the two-mile-and-three-furlong race and with Townend electing to ride the dual previous-winner, the pair eventually moved past front-running Saint Sam (4/1) at the second last, before scoring by five lengths. 

Delighted Townend reported “even though he is getting on in years, he has been campaigned nicely and is still a fresh enthusiastic horse.


“I didn’t see much between the two horses, both were working nicely and while he was rated 5lb inferior, it was hard to leave him behind, around here especially. He has been running consistently to his mark for some time now.”

He added “it wasn’t today or yesterday but I’ll never forget the fright Easy Game gave me at Leopardstown (in 2020) when I was riding Faugheen and that is a huge level of form.

“He is a joy to have around the place, is sound, turns up every day. If you could get another couple of him around the place, you’d have a tidy yard.”

Good impression

Richard O’Brien registered wins with consecutive runners, as his Feud (11/2, for the Lough Hyne Partnership) followed up another recent Ballinrobe success for the Ballingarry-based trainer, creating a fine impression when easily landing the John B. Keane Maiden Hurdle.

Ridden by Danny Mullins, the half-brother to recent Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas winner Fallen Angel, went clear of his rivals easily from the second last and won eased down by six and a half lengths from Handlethekettle. 

Regarding ex-flat racer Feud, O’Brien reported “I’m thrilled with that and he had been doing everything right at home prior to running on the flat in April, but ran deplorably.

“That didn’t really made sense, so we schooled him and he enjoyed it and continued to work well. Hurdling could be his job and he was quite impressive. He is a grand horse and is a half-brother to Fallen Angel who won the 1000 Guineas last week, so has a terrific pedigree.

“You just hope that when you set them at hurdling, they enjoy it although Danny said he was quite awkward at several jumps and lost an iron at one stage, so if he brushes that up we have a load to look forward to. I think he is entitled to go to Galway.” 

Queen supplies a crowning success

O’BRIEN’S neighbour Charles Byrnes was on the mark in the Southern Waste Management (Mares) Handicap Hurdle as Redwood Queen completed a hat-trick of recent wins under the trainer’s son Philip Byrnes.

The Mahler-mare was produced from rear to eventually lead at the final flight and won easily, by four and three-quarter lengths from It’sallabouteve. 

Byrnes senior later stated: “There is two types of ground and he kept her to the outside rail. Philip had ridden in the earlier races and the previous winner also came up the outside as well. 

“She is thriving, has found form and did it well today. We’ll keep going as far as she goes and find something in three or four weeks.”


Most valuable race was the €22,000 Join Racing TV Now Handicap Hurdle and was won by in-foal Minx Tiara, which followed up a recent listed success at Killarney, for trainer David O’Brien, jockey Sean Flanagan and the Fastey For Fun Syndicate.

The nine-year-old made all and held Senecia by a length and three-quarters, with O’Brien later commenting:“She is maturing with age and being in foal (to Hurricane Lane) seems to have got her to finish out her races better. 

“The handicapper was fair to her after she won the last day and there is now a 0-140 €80,000 race for her in Galway. She is in such good form that she might run in that and that will be her last race. 

“She has been a great servant for our small yard and has taken us to places we only dreamed of - she finished second in Leopardstown and has run against the big boys. To have a winner in Killarney and here is fantastic and she is owned by a great bunch of lads.”

Passed them all

Owner/trainer Sam Curling introduced Jeremy Pass (8/1) to the hunter chase ranks, in the Beasley Engineering-sponsored three-miles contest and the ex-Paul Nicholls-trained giant proved a useful addition, when getting the better of 2020 Galway Plate winner Early Doors, by a length and three-quarters.

Curling commented: “He is a grand big horse and had a great run the first day in a point-to-point this year but he had problem with his foot and then ran disappointingly. He won well with Derek (O’Connor) the last day and I’m delighted with Pa (King) who gave him a great ride today. 

“He was once a very good horse and just needs good ground. He will stay hunter chasing next year and will go for the top hunter chases, with Aintree being his main aim.”

O’Keeffe takes the greatest advantage

RACING began with the Nora Canty (Mares) Maiden Hurdle which was won by unfortunate circumstances by Cappacurry Ealu (8/1), for Ballinrobe-based owners Tom Treacy and Seanie O’Connell. 

Leader Russellsbelle held a clear advantage when falling at the final flight, with Cappacurry Ealu and jockey Sean O’Keeffe taking full advantage to score by two and a quarter lengths from Magic Dawn.

Winning trainer Leslie Young later said: “She isn’t a bad mare and Sean said he was still going okay and was staying on (when Russellsbelle fell). She was only beaten a couple of lengths at Cork in March and finished fourth in a Naas bumper. 

“The owners Tom Treacy and Seanie O’Connell are on the committee at Ballinrobe racecourse and previously won eight races with Cappacurry Zak for us. She has a good pedigree and her half-brother Now Is The Hour won a Haydock Grade 2 hurdle for Gavin Cromwell and the lads have a half-sister by Yeats going to the Derby Sale.”

Birthday present

The concluding Bryan MacMahon (Pro-Am) Bumper provided a memorable 21st birthday success for amateur jockey Alan O’Sullivan, as he steered his uncle trainer Eugene O’Sullivan’s Road To Home (11/1) to win for owner Alfie Lawless.

Trainer O’Sullivan said: “He is a lovely horse and should have won in Kildorrery first-time-out but fell. He is owned by Alfie Lawless and his wife Anne from Galway and I was sent the horse to point-to-point and sell, so what will happen now I don’t know.

“Alan said that that would be as good as he’d like the ground but I’d be tempted to go for a winners’ bumper.

“We like this horse a lot and while someone will end up with him, I’d love to keep him.”

He added “it is great for Alan who is 21 today and he recently got his Western Championship in the point-to-points (sharing the title with Derek O’Connor).”