Four for O’Neill in a fly­ing start POINT-TO-POINT

New Ross Standard - - SPORT -

THE WEX­FORD con­tin­gent made a fly­ing start to the new point-to-point sea­son at Toome­bridge, Co. Antrim, on Satur­day, and at Castle­town­geoghe­gan in West­meath on Sun­day, with cham­pion rider Barry O’Neill get­ting four win­ners and cham­pion trainer, Colin Bowe, scor­ing three.

The Wex­ford con­nec­tions dom­i­nated the open­ing three races up north on Satur­day.

First blood went to Rob James on the Don­n­chadh Doyle-trained Robin Des Sivola at the fourth at­tempt in the four-year-old mares’ maiden, at the ex­pense of favourite, Quivvy Lough for the Bowe/O’Neill pair­ing, with Hon­est Opin­ion in third un­der Tier­nan Power-Roche (Tomhag­gard) for Ash­leigh and Michael Mur­phy (Dun­cormick).

O’Neill and Bowe got their sea­son go­ing in the four-year-old geld­ings’ maiden, winning out in a great fin­ish on Golden No­mad, a son of Gold Well.

Cor­mac, the youngest of the three training Doyle broth­ers, and Rob James got com­pen­sa­tion in the five-year-old geld­ings’ maiden, with Donatello Mail winning by six lengths for the Monbeg Farm Rac­ing Part­ner­ship, giv­ing James a dou­ble on the day.

O’Neill was the star of day two in West­meath, scor­ing a rid­ing tre­ble, two for Bowe and one for Paul Nolan, with Wex­ford horses filling many of the mi­nor places also.

He took the four-year-old maiden with a Bowe debu­tant, Pen­ny­fora­pound (out of Winged Love), from Jamie Codd on De­nis Mur­phy’s Glen­gar, and Bowe also took third with Eglantino Kauto un­der Rob James.

O’Neill and Bowe dou­bled up with an easy win at the third at­tempt on Lively Beat (by Beat Hol­low) in the five- and six-year-old mares’ maiden, with Shane O’Rourke sec­ond on Rair Owl Timz.

O’Neill also won the geld­ings’ race with Paul Nolan’s Shaw­shank (by Pre­sent­ing) by one and a half lengths.

Jamie Codd came close to his first win­ner in the fi­nal race but had to take sec­ond on Kiera Royale for David Harry Kelly.

There are two meet­ings next week­end as the ac­tion starts to in­ten­sify, at Moira, Co. Ar­magh, on Satur­day, and the famed Gal­way Blaz­ers race at Kil­reekill, Loughrea, on Sun­day.

Reign­ing cham­pi­ons Colin Bowe and Barry O’Neill made bright starts to the new sea­son last week­end.

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