FESTIVE SEASON TO REMEMBER FOR MAGS AND DANNY - A very Happy New Year to fellow Parishioners, and it was certainly a memorable Christmas/New Year for Margaret Mullins and her son Danny as they enjoyed superb success at the Leopardstown Christmas Racing Festival, while also enjoying glory courtesy of King of Firth in Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day. The glory began in race two of day one of the Festival on St. Stephen’s Day, as Anonis opened his account over timber in a maiden hurdle. Anonis had previously been successful when running out a mightily impressive winner of a bumper at Cheltenham in November at odds of 25/1 which confirmed his undoubted potential. Making his hurdling debut, Anonis returned an 11/4 second favourite, and made virtually all as held off the challenge of the Willie Mullins trained The Paparazi Kid for a one-and-quarter length success. It would be surprise as a course winner if Anonis takes his place amongst the starting line-up in one of the Novice Hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival, with a trip to Leopardstown on Hennessy Gold Cup Day on the 9th of February to run in the Deloitte and Touche Novice Hurdle as a possible intended target.It was a very good opening day for Danny in Leopardstown, as he rode Sammy Black to a fine third place in the Handicap Hurdle, while Danny was aboard On the Way Out who ran a cracker at odds of 10/1 to finish third in the Racing Post All you Need for Irish Handicap Steeplechase. Day two on the 27th of December got even better for Mum and son. Having been unluckily denied in a photo finish at the Listowel Festival in September, Mumbo Jumbo displayed lion-hearted determination, as Danny pulled out all the stops to land the Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle by a length and a quarter from Celtic Cailin with the pair 15 lengths clear of the third-placed Raise the Best.The success didn’t end there though. Starting at odds of 12/1 in the highly competitive Paddy Power handicap hurdle of 17 runners, Cairdin made all from pillar to post, as he ran his rivals ragged running out a six-length winner. The BoyleSports Handicap Hurdle on Saturday 26th January may possibly be next on the agenda for Cairdin. Following their brilliant success in Leopardstown, the Mum and son combination duo started 2013 on the right note on New Years Day. Running in the Cairdin colours, King of Firth made a winning start to the New Year in the New Year Maiden Hurdle at Fairyhouse.Having run in Leopardstown on St. Stephens Day when he finished sixth behind his stable companion Anonis, King of Firth defied 2/1 favourite when making all for a cosy success. It was certainly a memorable festive season for Mags and Danny Mullins.
FIGHT NIGHT - YOUNG IRELANDS GAA V BARROW RANGERS GAA - The Club has begun preparations for a fundraising “Fight Night” in Langtons on Sunday 24th March. It sees a number of club members taking on local rivals from the Barrow Rangers Club. More details to follow in the weeks ahead.
THYESTES CHASE MEETING - One of the parish highlights of the year takes place tomorrow as the prestigious Thyestes Chase meeting goes ahead. Packed crowds as ever are expected, and the feature race as ever promises to be highly competitive. Willie Mullins has won this race on four occasions courtesy of Micks Dream in 2000, 2005 Aintree Grand National winner Hedgehunter in 2004, Homers Well in 2007 and last year with On His Own, who is expected to run tomorrow. Ireland’s leading National Hunt trainer is expected to play a prominent role in tomorrow’s race as he has several entries. Meanwhile, Willie is expected to be represented by last year’s winner Zaidpour in the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle, while his Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle conqueror Monksland may be re-acquainted. The first of seven races gets underway at 1.20, with the Thyestes Chase at 3.20pm.
CLEERES BEGIN NEW YEAR ON WINNING NOTE - Cleeres Bar begin 2013 on a winning note, recording two 2-1 victories to consolidate their position at the top of Division 2 of the Kilkenny & District Floodlit league. Victory over Kytelers Inn was followed by last week by a win over O’Briens Butcher as they remain a point ahead on 35 points, one point clear of OS United.Paul Kehoe and a late Colm Kennedy winner secured victory over Kytelers, while Kennedy was on target again along with Daryl Nolan as they overcame O’Briens Butcher. Last night, Cleeres were in action against Cross Celtic
ALICE IN WONDERLAND - Rehearsals are continuing for the 14th annual production of the Gowran Pantomime Society, Alice in Wonderland which takes place next month. There is an extra show this year which means the first show is on Tuesday 12th February, with further shows on Wednesday 13th February, Friday 15th February, Saturday 16th February and the final show, the matinee on Sunday 17th February. As usual, there will be no show on the Thursday – 14th February (Valentines Day), due to the weekly bingo.