The Toome point to point supplied doubles for riders Noel McParlan and Jamie Codd, writes Ron McKnight.
The latter, who is current All-Ireland and Northern Region Champion, claimed the mares maiden aboard the Aidan Fitzgerald trained, Murphy’s Filly.
The trainer advised that the daughter of Flemensfirth, which had filled second on her previous three starts, is now due to go to the course proper and will be based with trainer Colin Bowe.
Codd claimed the finale for older maidens to complete the brace while supplying Ballyclare handler, Shane Gault – son of former top Ulster rider, Geordie Gault with his first training success. The winner was endorsing the promise of his third placed effort at Templepatrick and winning on his eleventh starts between the flags.
Newry based Noel McParlan, last year’s Northern Region Champion rider, partnered the Colin McBratney trained Sole Witness to a facile victory in the featured open race providing compensation for connections having finished runner-up at Maralin.
The Crossgar trainer said: “The hunterchase on St Stephen’s day at the Maze will be his next target – He’ll mix points and hunterchases during the season.”
The Newry rider doubled up on Take It Too which was following up recent Maralin success in a maiden for owner/handler – Ballyclare solicitor, John Taylor who bought the well-bred son of Deploy at a sale at Scarvagh Stud.
The Colin McKeever trained newcomer, Yorkhill, appeared set for victory in the opener before unseating his rider after jumping the penultimate fence. However despite just six runners the race produced a photo finish with Areema just caught close to home by Kilcullen Flem with Robert James in the saddle. The winner provided another for the sales ring for the Monbeg Syndicate and Wexford trainer, Donnchadh Doyle.
Blackwater based trainer James Lambe was another local trainer on the mark at Toome when Infrontofthejudge with James Cresswell aboard landed the five year old geldings maiden in snug fashion.
Lambe said: “He’ll make a very nice staying chaser and will probably go to the next Brightwells horses in training sales.”
Fortune favoured Larne trainer Stuart Crawford when the ferry from Belfast failed to sail on Saturday.
Glenquest was due to travel to Haydock but the prevailing weather scuppered that plan and the local trained rerouted the horse to Navan on Sunday with success when Glenquest, with Barry Geraghty aboard, made most of the running prior to going clear to score easily.
The Larne trainer failed to land a double when Twentytwo’s Taken had to settle for the runner-up spot in the finale, which was a listed mares bumper, providing black type to the pedigree of the mare owned by Newtownards-based, Siobhan McKinnon, who also bred the high-class dual bumper winner.
First race: 1st, Kilcullen Flem [Robert James] 3/1; 2nd, Areema; 3rd, Buffalo Brave
Neck – 25 6 ran
Second race: 1st, Murphys Filly [Jamie Codd] 6/4; 2nd, Gen and I; 3rd, Sentry Girl
2 – 5 8 ran
Third race: 1st, Infrontofthejudge [James Cresswell] 5/2 jt fav; 2nd, Clondaw Frisby; 3rd, Toast and jam
4 – 5 6 ran
Fourth race: 1st, Sole Witness [Noel McParlan] 8/13 fav; 2nd, Nodforms Violet; 3rd, The Hard Hat
4 – 3 7 ran
Fifth race: 1st, Take It Too [Noel Mc Parlan] 2/1; 2nd, Drum Bay; 3rd, Blackstone Edge
2 – dist 7 ran
Sixth race: 1st, Mister To Mister [Jamie Codd] 4/1; 2nd, Sarsfield Legend; 3rd, American Image
3 – 12 8 ran