BY TIM KELLEHER
IT was a red-letter day for 19-year-old Rebecca Hurley from Reenascreena who drove her first winner under rules with Dedicace De Rhuys at Lyre.
Eddy Marceaux led for the opening lap and was passed on the second circuit by Dedicace De Rhuys. Heading out on the final circuit Homa joined issue and led to the final quarter of a mile but Dedicace De Rhuys was not finished, regained the advantage and came home eight lengths in front of Hippie Sisu.
‘I’m over the moon to drive my first-ever winner and especially here at Lyre as we only live over the road from here. I have to thank John O'Sullivan, the owner of Dedicace De Rhuys, for giving me the drive. Jamie, my brother, trains the mare and John is a great owner; he was here today which was even better,’ a delighted Rebecca said.
Drimoleague-based Chris O’Reilly and his son Fionn are having a great season with two horses at different stages in their careers, the veteran Rhyds Panache and Biggins, an up-and-coming four-year-old, both won again.
Biggins has progressed all season and took the top grade pace. Llwyns Delight got an easy lead here and led to the final quarter of a mile. Here, Biggins was produced and went two lengths clear, turning for home. In this very competitive handicap the chasing pack began to close but Biggins held on by a length from the fast-finishing IB Paddington with Teddy Camden a half length back in third.
The father and son double was completed earlier in the day with Rhyds Panache. Zipcar One had led but Rhyds Panache was only biding his time, took up the running in the final quarter and came home strongly to win by four lengths from Ladyford Express.
‘Panache has been unreal for us and he’s ideal for Fionn, a fine safe drive who never puts a foot wrong. I bought Biggins at the start of last year from the UK, he had been running well in the aged races over there against the likes of Rhyds Scoundrel,’ Chris O’Reilly said.
The Quills from Kenmare might be domiciled in the Kingdom but are regulars on the West Cork circuit and they bagged two winners on the day. Destin De Larre hadn’t won in a while and, after Holloway Road went off stride, Oisin Quill took full advantage and won with a bit to spare. Fina Mix completed the Quill family double in the top grade trot to follow up on their win at the George Deane day the previous weekend.
Drimoleague publican Derry McCarthy got his name on the scoresheet on GDS Honey. Chelsie O’Driscoll, the regular driver, was away due to work commitments but McCarthy was an able deputy and led all the way to record a three-length win from Get Me Out Of Here.
Donal Murphy from Baltimore was coolness personified with Streams of Whiskey in the Grade G1 & G2 pace. Coalford Jimmy G had Storm Trooper for company for the opening six furlongs and Mark Kane on the former looked to have done enough, but Murphy produced Streams of Whiskey to lead in the final ten yards to record a neck victory.