THE 2015 ITHRF road trotting season kicked off on St Stephen’s Day and last year’s All-Ireland champion, Dream Maker, took the featured Grade A trot before a bumper holiday crowd.
Stan the Man and Conway Tiger made the early running, and at the second of the three turns Dream Maker made a mistake and looked to have an uphill task. At the final turn Dream Maker hit the front and while Conway Tiger put it up to the odds-on favourite, Dream Maker stayed on to win by two lengths.
Meadowbranch McCoy, on his road debut, won in a fashion that would suggest further wins are well within his reach. This former smart track performer hit the front with four furlongs to pace and was five lengths too good for Cams Decision, with Lyons Stallone, another debutant to the tarmac, back in third.
Jockey Jason O’Reilly bagged a brace in the opening two races. Aboard his own runner, Don’t Push Me, he made all in the opening novice to beat Saunders Artiste by two lengths. The double came on Immortal Mojo who was too good on the day for his only rival Lakeview Allstar, giving Eachway Racing their first winner of the season.
Meadowlands Falcon and Beauty’s Harmony fought out a great finish in the nine-runner Grade D with Falcon getting the nod by a short head.
The Grade C race also produced a tremendous finish with Mountain Dew Lad getting the nod in a photo with Glan Morgan and, once again, a short head was the winning distance.
Novice (Donal McCarthy Memorial Cup): 1. J O’Reilly, Don’t Push Me, owner; 2. N Forbes, Toys for Boys, T O’Leary; 3. J O’Sullivan, Saunders Artiste, Deirdre Goggin; Distance 2l 3l; SP 6/4 4/1 EV; six ran.
Grade E: 1. Eachway Racing, Immortal Mojo, J O’Reilly; 2. J Manning, Lakeview Allstar, Deirdre Goggin; Dist 4l; SP EV 4/7; two ran.
Grade D: 1. J O’Mahony, Meadowlands Falcon, T O’Leary; 2. Hurley/O’Reilly, Beauty’s Harmony, J O’Reilly; 3. J Hurley, Hilton Sprinter, J Hurley; Distance SH 1l; SP 5/2 2/1 2/1; nine ran.
Grade C (Joe O’Sullivan Acorn Life Cup): 1. N Forbes, Mountain Dew Lad, Deirdre Goggin; 2. J O’Mahony, Glan Morgan, T O’Leary; 3. C Caverly, Easter Lily, D Brickley; Distance SH 4l; SP 4/1 5/2 EV; four ran.
Grade B (PJ Daly Memorial Cup): 1. J Shanahan, Meadowbranch McCoy, C Brickley; 2. Shanahan/Brickley, Cams Decision, D Brickley; 3. C O’Reilly, Lyons Stallone, J O’Reilly; Distance 4l 4l; SP 5/2 2/1 4/1; seven ran.
Grade A (Tommy McCarthy Memorial Cup): 1. Shanahan/Mycock, Dream Maker, D Brickley; 2. Deirdre Goggin, Conway Tiger, owner; 3. M O’Reilly, Stan the Man, Marie Moloney; Distance 2l 10l; SP 1/3 5/2 5/2; three ran.