Irish Point Notes, Week 5

An Irish Point-to-Point. [Image: flickr]

An Irish Point-to-Point. [Image: flickr]

2 November 2014 – Grennan, Co. Kilkenny

Compiled by Seattle Dancer

I attended this fixture held in a natural amphitheatre by the banks of the river Nore with the ruins of Grennan Castle looking on forlornly. I always like to walk the track at any meeting I attend and this track has fairly sharp bends on its one-mile circuit and there can be a lot of trouble on the last bend before facing the final two fences.

It was the only points fixture held last weekend and it was a fairly low-key event with a modest crowd in attendance. The action happens very fast and if you prefer to watch the racing in the outfield you need to be wearing your sprinting shoes to get to see the winner being led in. In general, organisers missed a few tricks here and the paying public didn’t feel like they were particularly loved with one gentleman in particular deciding that a loud shouting voice was the best way to deal with recalcitrant youngsters straying unwittingly in front of a few horses being led up.

4yo maiden:

This was won by Sean (brother of Donnchadh) Doyle’s Black Sam The Man and he possessed very average form going into the race in what was the first 4yo maiden hosted by the Kilkenny Foxhounds since they first inaugurated their autumn fixture in 2007. The race proved an embarrassment for the course commentator as he got the winner mixed up with Donnchadh Doyle’s favourite, Native Gamut (carrying the same silks), and only realised his error on the finishing line. Oops!

Connections claimed that a first-time hood transformed Black Sam The Man after three previous mediocre runs but I am not tempted to include him in my future watch-list based on a race that boasted very little decent form beforehand and all the runners had looked quite exposed and of little account.

5yo maiden (two divides):

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I am also dismissing the performance of Sean Doyle’s Monbeg River (helping him to celebrate his first ever points double) in division two on similar grounds to his 4yo winner as he looks very average on what we have seen of him to date and whereas it’s a contest that has thrown up the odd racecourse winner in the past neither this horse’s rating of 84 nor the race’s poor recent record is encouraging.

The winner of division one was won by Kieran Purcell’s Bold Bachelor and I have been mentioning Purcell’s good recent run in my latest notes. This horse also won a very modest contest but he is already handicapped under Rules following three runs in maiden hurdles in February and March earlier this year. He’s had one spin in a handicap when well beaten off a high-looking 110 at Wexford in April but following Purcell’s comments about his horses being under a cloud at the time Bold Bachelor can be expected to improve significantly from this run hopefully off a lower re-assessed mark. It is not at all unusual for handicappers to show their well-being in points before going on to immediate success on the track and Pat Downey’s winner Dream Crusher from last year’s autumn campaign immediately springs to mind.

Horse To Follow: 

Bold Bachelor 

 

Rules Update: The only horse from my list to run under Rules to date was the (now) Donald McCain-trained Gingili who scored in a Musselburgh bumper on Friday afternoon at odds of 7/2 (he was available at better prices throughout the day). Apart from being a good start for my Christmas fund it has given a boost to much of the early 4yo form that will come under scrutiny at Brightwells next Friday evening after racing at Cheltenham. A delighted Martin Hassett called me following Friday’s race (his Jack Steel had comprehensively beaten Gingili in a maiden four weeks ago) and he will be hoping for a bumper payday following this timely boost.

 

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