Word from the trenches suggested that the Margaret Mullins trained Oscars Joy was more than useful and the vibes proved to be correct as the five year old made a winning debut when taking the bumper at Limerick last week, writes Ned Tierney.
Owned by Peter Magnier, brother of the Coolmore boss, John, and bred by Maureen Mullins, the daughter of Oscar went to post a heavily supported favourite. She raced in mid-division early on before taking closer order leaving the back straight.
Jockey Patrick Mullins was in no hurry to take on the leading Benefit Days, but once he threw down his challenge a furlong out the result was never in doubt. Oscars Joy went away to win comfortably by a couple of lengths.
A handy enough mare, the winner knew her job well and while the form of the race is difficult to assess there is no doubt but Oscars Joy looked respectable. She is a half sister to Melanjo, a Gowran Park bumper winner over two and a half miles earlier in the year so there is plenty of stamina in the pedigree.
Since she is reported to be schooling well over hurdles, she can be followed at that discipline also.
There was a most unsatisfactory start to the two mile and a half mares maiden hurdle when the favourite Summer Star, the mount of Ruby Walsh, and the second favourite, The Bishop’s Day, were turned almost in the opposite direction when the tapes went up and they lost considerable ground. Summer Star never got into the race but The Bishop’s Day made a valiant effort to recover the lost ground.
However, the effort proved just beyond her and she had to be content with second place behind the Michael Hourigan runner Cuteasafox. A stewards inquiry followed, but after a lengthy hearing they noted the explanation of the starter and took no further action.
Ted Walsh, the trainer of Summer Star, had better luck later in the evening when Ploopluck Bridge ran out a game winner of the extended two mile and three beginners chase. As a 4-year-old Ploopluck Bridge was getting all the allowances, but apart from a third placing in a point to point had little to recommend him and as a consequence he was easy to back.
Jockey Rob Jones gave him plenty of time to find his feet. He improved to be in contention at the top of the hill before the straight. At this point Ballyhampshire Man had just taken over. However, Jones got a great tune out of his mount and in spite of a mistake at the last railed well to land the spoils by a short head.
Mouse Morris kept up his good recent form by taking the two mile and three novice chase courtesy of Baily Green. Given a positive ride by David Casey, the King’s Theatre gelding was ahead right from the drop of the flag. He gave a fine exhibition of jumping before defeating Gimli’s Rock by a comfortable three lengths.
In his post race remarks Morris revealed that his charge is a good ground animal and will not be going to Galway. He could feature at the Listowel Festival next month.
Opened his account
Realt Den Chathair from the Eoin Griffin yard hit the crossbar a few times in bumper races and belatedly opened his account when landing the opening maiden hurdle in dreadful conditions at Wexford on Saturday. The son of Soviet Star, which was given a stylish ride by Eddie O’Connell, raced just off the pace early on. He took over turning to face the judge but was not foot perfect at the last and it took all of the riders considerable strength to get him up in the closing stages to record a length success over God’s County.
Out of the Beau Sher mare Rua Lass which was Griffin’s first winner as a trainer, the winner was bred by the trainers father Sean. There are a few more of the family waiting in the wings to appear down the line. There was a sting in the tail for the winning rider as he was handed a three day ban for an incident on the first circuit.
There was an all Kilkenny finish to the first division of the 80-94 handicap hurdle when the John Cahill trained Opera Music just got the better of the Eoin Doyle runner Grand Cru after a good scrap. Coming from well off the pace, Opera Music made good headway to lead before the home turn but had to be well stoked by Rob Jones before landing the spoils by a length.
Bundle Of Fun was well backed to give Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh a winner in the three mile and a furlong handicap chase, but in the end he had to play second fiddle to the Edward O’Grady representative Clicksnmortar. Partnered by Barry Geraghty, the latter improved on the final circuit to lead before the straight and with the final fence omitted he just about found enough to take the money by a neck.