ALL-Ireland Champion rider, Barry O’Neill took the riding honours at the Tynan and Armagh point to point at Farmacaffley on Saturday, with a four-timer! The fixture was hit by the weather, with decimated fields and cars unable to park mid-field and use the lane into the venue. Many questioned if the meeting should have been postponed.
O’Neill took the opening hunt race on ‘Danjaman’, with handler Marshall Watson stating:
“He’ll run in a winners event, but I’ll aim at the hunterchase on Ulster National day at Downpatrick next month.”
The top rider supplied Derrylin trainer, David Christie, with a double when winning the open race feature aboard ‘Winged Leader’ and Christie said: “A hunterchase at the Maze or Downpatrick will probably be the next target.”
The duo claimed the following race with ‘On The Sod’, which retained his unbeaten record when recording his third victory. Christie recorded an open race double at the weekend, with ‘Eddie’s Miracle’ winning at Tinahely on Sunday.
Jim Dreaper enlisted the champion to partner ‘Westy Fox’ in the finale, who delivered the horse late to prevail. Veteran Lisburn trainer, George Stewart, who has produced numerous top horses including Aintree Grand National winner, ‘Bindaree’ sent out ‘Ringneill’ to register a facile success in the mares maiden with Mark O’Hare in the saddle.
Ballyclare handler, Warren Ewing sold his Tyrella points winner ‘Only The Bold’ at the weekend for £215,000 – topping the sale where the ill-fated ‘Flemenshill’ also topped the sale in 2017, setting a record price of £480,000, highlighting the quality of horses on the Northern circuit. The Ballyclare handler supplied a one-two in the geldings maiden, with a very disappointing three runners going to post. Gone are the days when this race saw three or four divisions and the winners guaranteed to realise top prices. The less fancied ‘Ranieri’ provided Conor Rabbit with his first winner when beating stable companion ‘Bold Pimpernel’.
Saturday, February 22
Armagh point to point at Farmacaffley
First Race: 1) Danjaman [Barry O’Neill] 4/6 fav; 2) Boogily Lane. Only two finished. 4 ran. 4 lengths.
Second Race: 1) Ranieri [Conor Rabbitt] 3/1; 2) Bold Pimpernel; 3) Franchpeps. 3 ran. neck – 4.
Third Race: 1) Ringneill [Mark O’Hare] 4/6 fav; 2) Deo Bellator; 3) Lady Boss. 4 ran, 7 – 11.
Fourth Race: 1) Winged Leader [Barry O’Neill] 4/5 fav; 2) Bridget’s Pet; 3) Anseanachai Cliste. 6 ran. 6 – 8.
Fifth Race: 1) On The Sod [Barry O’Neill] 1/1 fav; 2) Call It Time; 3) Duty Calls. 7 ran. 4 – 3 1/2.
Sixth Race: 1) Westy Fox [Barry O’Neill] 5/4 fav; 2) Duckphil; 3) Castlebawn. 6 ran. 1 – 8.