THE Hitman, with Micheal Goggin Jnr in the seat, took the George Deane Memorial Handicap at Dunmanway on Sunday.
Qualification for the final was determined by three heats, with two horses qualifying from each, and The Hitman took victory in the first heat, overtaking pace-setter Scorpion at the final turn and sprinting clear to win by a length.
In the second elimination, IB Maximus tried to make the pace all the way but was collared close to home by Llywns All Star and Tyson Howard. The third and final heat went to Western Dreamer, who showed old form to lead home Rhyds Heatbeat by a length.
In the final, Scorpion was quick off the gate to lead Llywns All Star with The Hitman content to sit on the rail. As the field began to close in, it was a wide open contest. With two furlongs to pace, The Hitman finally saw daylight and was not for catching, winning by two lengths from Llywns All Star, Scorpion another half-length back in third.
This was the third winner on the day for Goggin, who had earlier driven Splash The Cash to a neck victory from Greentree Padiano.
Twelve-year-old Eoin Murphy will long remember the day, as he rode his first winner under rules in a pulsating saddle race, piloting Sunnyside Kildare to victory. All five runners had turns at leading but Murphy pushed with 100 yards to go and ran out a two-length winner.
Eoin is a son of leading trainer Tadhg Murphy (IB Stables) and his mother Christine is a former champion jockey in West Cork.
Brickley racing had two winners on the day. Ringo Kid drew pole position in the Grade A & B pace and saw off an early challenge from Rhyds Destiny and was too good on the day for his four rivals. David Brickley drove this son of Timon Del Sol to an easy two-length win.
Not to be outdone, Ciarán Brickley drove the second winner for the Baltimore-based Brickley Family. Swift Sunshine was all the rage in the betting ring and didn’t let down the punters. Oozing with confidence, he set the winner alight on the final corner and won by six lengths.
Tarnao Josselyn took the only trotters’ race on the day. A model of consistency all year, he put his rivals to the sword and eased down to a ten length win.
It was a good weekend all round for the Quill Brothers, who own the winner, as on Saturday in Tregaron in Wales, their Awesome Dude was another winner for the team. Seamus Quill was driver on both winners.
The curtain comes down on this year’s grass racing in Cork next Saturday, with a meeting in Lisangle, which has a 3.30pm start time.
George Deane Memorial – Heat 1: 1 J Hill THE HITMAN (M Goggin Jnr), 2 J O’Mahony SCORPION (T O’Leary), 3 F Brickley LAKESIDE ALERT (D Brickley), 2l 1l, 2:34.2, seven ran; Heat 2: 1 M O’Brien LLYWNS ALL STAR (owner), 2 N Forbes TYSON HOWARD (owner), 3 S O’Reilly SPRINGHILL DOYLE (M O’Reilly), 2l â, 2:34.6, seven ran; Heat 3: 1 PJ Cleary WESTERN DREAMER (owner), 2 A & M Hurley RHYDS HEARTBEAT (D Murphy), 3 K Connolly TALENTED MAN (owner), 1l 1l, 2:35.3, seven ran; Final: 1 The Hitman, 2 Llywns All Star, 3 Scorpion, 2l â, 2:32.5, six ran.
Grade G1 Pace: 1 F Brickley SWIFT SUNSHINE (C Brickley), 2 S Kane MOORSIDE CHARLIE (J O’Mahony), 3 S Jennings HEATHER BREEZE (owner), 6l â, 2:36.2, five ran.
Grade G Pace: 1 J O’Sullivan SPLASH THE CASH (M Goggin Jnr), 2 J Helen GREENTREE PADIANO (owner), 3 O Farrell/Healy MEADOWBRANCH MATT (M Kelleher), neck 2l, 2:39.1, five ran.
Trotteur Francais Grade A, C and D: 1 Quill Bros TARNAO JOSSELYN (S Quill), 2 M Goggin Snr ROCKY ATOUT (M Goggin Jnr), 3 Brickley/O’Reilly SOCRATE DU NOYER (F Brickley), 10l â, 3:38.1, five ran.
Grade A & B Pace: 1 F Brickey RINGO KID (D Brickley), 2 Quill Bros IB MOHICAN (S Quill), 3 P Hill HAIL SPARTACUS (owner), 3l 2l, 2:30.7, five ran.
Saddle: 1 S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE (E Murphy), 2 Quill Bros KING WILLS ARRIVAL (O Quill), 3 J Shanahan FAIRDAYS BRET (L Kelleher), 2l 2l, 2:33.8, five ran.