IT was a day of firsts as the 2015 road trotting season concluded in Old Chapel, Bandon on Sunday.
Meadowbranch McCoy announced himself with his first win in the featured Grade A, first-season jockey Jamie Hurley recorded his first double, and Meadowlands Falcon secured the coveted Horse of the Year award and his trainer Jeremiah O’Mahony secured his first trainers’ championship.
Jamie Hurley secured his first double on the tarmac in the opener aboard Lakeview Allstar, who ran his rivals ragged in a manner that would suggest that a top-class career is in store for this talented type. Hilton Sprinter, who Hurley rides for his father James, was another who employed catch-me-if-you-can tactics and this win cemented the talents of the up-and-coming rider.
Meadowbranch McCoy, a winner of the Grade B, in Ballydehob stepped up to the plate in the Grade A to deny Stan The Man a winning departure to the retirement paddocks.
McCoy, under Ciarán Brickley, had to do it the hard way, setting a relentless pace which, in the end, proved the measure of his rivals.
The meeting of Horse of the Year Meadowlands Falcon and the unbeaten Camden Jimmy in the Grade C was looked upon as a classic match, but Rhyds Ponder, with Deirdre Goggin in the plate, made a mockery of the script with Goggin giving the winner a masterful ride and an easy win.
After another successful season the turf season is set to begin at Inchydoney beach on Sunday, May 17th, a week later than originally planned due to tidal conditions.
The ITHRF has organised a novel sweepstake called ‘Grab A Grand’ with tickets on sale from club members.
Grade E (Brian Wilson Cup): 1. G Hegarty, Lakeview Allstar, J Hurley; 2. S and T O’Reilly, Ringo Lady, Deirdre Goggin; 3. C Brickley, Millers Boy, D Brickley; distance 3l 1l; SP 4/5 3/1 6/4; four ran.
Grade D Division One (Paddy Desmond, Jerry OMahony and Pat (PJ) Collins Cup): 1. O’Reilly/Hurley, Beauty’s Harmony, J O’Reilly; 2. C O’Leary, Seodeen, Deirdre Goggin; 3. D O’Callaghan, Little Benjio, M Goggin Jnr; distance 6l 4l; SP 4/6 6/4 3/1; four ran.
Grade D Division Two: 1. J Hurley, Hilton Sprinter, J Hurley; 2. J Manning, Lakeview Walter, M Aherne; 3. F and S Brickle, Lakeside Alert, D Brickley; distance 3l 6l; SP 6/4 6/4 4/1; four ran.
Grade C (Noel Ryan Trophy): 1. N Forbes, Rhyds Ponder, Deirdre Goggin; 2. Marie Moloney, Camden Jimmy, owner; 3. J O’Mahony, Meadowlands Falcon, T O’Leary; distance 6l 2l; SP 4/1 5/4 5/4; four ran.
Grade A (Mick Twomey/Donie Barry and John D Crowley Cup): 1. Meadowbrach Stables, Meadowbrach McCoy, C Brickley; 2. Marie Moloney, Stan The Man, owner; 3. Brickley/Shanahan, Cams Decision, D Brickley.