Templemore trainer John Ryan has predicted a bright future for Reafadda which made a winning debut in the bumper at Clonmel on Friday evening.
A good looking son of Zagreb the five year old was given an enterprising ride by Pa King as he made most of the running and had enough up hi9s sleeve to hold the persistent challenge of the Willie Mullins trained favourite in the closing stages by a length. Quietly backed at fancy prices Reafadda showed a likeable attitude when push came to shove and the fact that the first pair finished no less than thirteen lengths ahead of the third finisher Cloudy Morning would suggest that they are above average. In his post race remarks Ryan revealed that he was expecting a big run from his charge judging from his work on the home gallops. He just missed out on the point to point season but is a brilliant jumper so he is certainly one for the notebook especially on better ground.
Paul Carberry has always been regarded as one of the most stylish riders ever to grace the scene and he had little more than an armchair ride aboard Charleville to land the extended two mile 80-94 handicap hurdle. easy to back the Bear Hollow gelding was settled towards the rear of the fifteen runner field, he made steady headway going across the top of the track to the third last flight. Carbery was oozing confidence off the home turn and once he gave the seven year old the office he picked up well and quickly put daylight between himself and the rest of the field to win by eight and a half lengths after being eased inside the final furlong. Winning handler Barry Murphy told me that his charge always runs well at his local Galway meeting and he will find a suitable contest for him at this years festival in a few weeks time.
Former showjumping rider Eric McNamara has been out of the limelight in recent times but he returned to form with a vengeance by recording a double courtesy of Tristram Shandy and Hevelius. The Wizard King gelding Tristram Shandy set the ball rolling with a comfortable enough success in the extended two mile maiden hurdle for 5.y.o’s and upwards.
Partnered by the trainers son Emmet Tristram Shandy was easy enough to back as the Henry de Bromhead runner Special Tiara was the one that the heavy hitters plunged fn and in the end he was the one that gave the McNamara horse most to do. The latter set off in front with Tristram Shandy settling in mid division, as the straight was reached only two mattered with Tristram Shandy throwing down his challenge and in spite of being untidy at the final obstacle had enough in hand to record a length and a half victory over Special Tiara. A winners of one is now the target for the five year old which has a liking for a cut in the ground.
McNamara was back in the winners enclosure just half an hour later this time it was Hevelius that was doing the business in the hands of exciting claimer Rob Jones as he landed the 92-106 handicap hurdle over two mile and half a furlong. Settled well of the pace the son of Polish Precedent made steady headway on the final circuit to be in contention on the downhill run to the straight. At this point Mick Darcy had poached a decent advantage on the outsider Moraraqeb however, once Jones produced Hevelius at the penultimate flight the complexion of the race dramatically as the seven year took over and found plenty to land the spoils by two and a quarter lengths. McNamara told me post race that first time cheekpieces helped as the horse does not like to be in front too soon and he will now be aimed at a similar type handicap.
Katie Walsh gave another glimpse of her considerable talents when taking the second division of the bumper aboard Gold Bullet. With several non runners due to the deterioration in the ground Gold Bullet had a small following in the betting market in spite of the strong support for the Mags Mullins runner Return Spring. Those who invested in this one know their fate early as he dropped away entering the back straight and finished a long way off the principals. In contrast Gold Bullet was never to far out of his ground, he came with a sustained challenge in the straight and ran all the way to the line where he had half a length to spare over Regal One. The son of Generous will now be roughed off and return in the autumn when he will go hurdling.