The opening Four Year Old Maiden at Quakerstown on Saturday saw an impressive performance from the Robin Des Champs gelding Our Robin. The bay gelding, trained by Donnchadh Doyle travelled strongly throughout the contest to see off the strong stayer Nick Brody by four lengths under Corky Carroll. The time of this particular event wasn’t great but Our Robin showed plenty of speed here and looked more than capable of taking a bumper prior to a successful career over obstacles at sub-three mile trips.
Little Jimmy Brown looks likely to make the switch to the track following his victory in the Maiden for older horses at Ballydurn last Sunday. John O’Shaughnessy’s charge opened up by ten lengths having led for much of the contest to see off Young QC under Derek O’Connor. The time was faster than average and he could make up into a stayer on the track though will be of most interest once tackling handicaps on Summer ground.
Streets Of Promise ran well to take the Five Year Old Mares Maiden at Loughanmore on Sunday. The daughter of Westerner was handily placed throughout the three mile contest and Denis Murphy’s charge quickened clear after the last. She is a well-bred mare given she’s closely related to Pocketfullofpennies and Ponmeoath and looks capable of winning over two and a half miles plus on the track, with good ground likely to see her to best effect.
The proliferation of meetings over the Easter period generally leads to a reduction in quality and as such there was little of real note in the UK scene this past weekend. There were however a few exceptions, the most notable of these being the victory of Katkolys in the Restricted event at Dingley. Formerly trained in the France the gelding had romped home by thirty lengths on his debut at Guilsborough two weeks previously and led for nearly all the contest here to score for trainer Stuart Morris and jockey Sam Davies-Thomas. On the evidence of his two most recent outings he looks likely to prove capable of winning a Hunter Chase should connections go down that route or alternatively he could look an attractive purchase for anyone looking for a Summer jumper.
The now Andrew Lynch-trained Jarob is worth keeping an eye on with regards to future engagements when lining up in the maiden hurdle at Limerick this coming Sunday. Formerly with Colm Murphy the seven year old has been off the track since being beaten just eight and three quarter lengths by Anonis at Leopardstown at the end of 2012 and in November 2011 he had been the impressive winner of his maiden point at Ballinaboola. He looks likely to be suited by three miles in time and is worth observing at the weekend.
Tattersalls Farm maiden winner Shesaportrait should go well on her handicap debut at the same venue on Sunday. Patrick Neville’s charge broke her maiden in points back in December when seeing off Kalico Kalista by four lengths in a gruelling seventeen runner affair in which only four completed. The daughter of Portrait Gallery has had three uncompetitive runs over hurdles thus far all over the minimum trip but she takes a marked step up in trip to three miles here and can score on her handicap debut under Eddie O’Connell.
There will be more to come next week with regards to Cheltenham’s Hunter Chase night but suffice to say that the 17:45 Intermediate Point-To-Point Championship Final is one of the leading races for novice pointers. With the likes of Sharp Suit, Squirrel Esquire, Driftashore and the mare Champagne Rosie all engaged it looks likely to be a cracker, and it’s worth remembering that the 2013 renewal was won by the Alan Hill-trained Harbour Court who went on to success in the prestigious John Corbett at Stratford six weeks later.
Of the remaining races on the card it’s good to see a strong entry in the Mares’ Hunters’ Chase given that there has been plenty of criticism regarding such races given the relative weakness of similar races at Wetherby and Fontwell in the past season or so. With Lucette Annie engaged we have the mare who was sent off joint-favourite for this race in 2013 engaged in addition to leading pointing mares Popaway, Theatre Queen and Marks Tey specialist Cheyanwe.