The runners and riders set off on the first race of the weekend at the Ballingarry Point to Point. PHOTOS: ODHRAN DUCIE

Visitors take the spoils in Ballingarry

HORSE RACING: Ormond Foxhounds Point to Point

By Michael Duggan

Excellent weather greeted supporters attending last weekend’s two-day Ormond Hunt point-to-point fixture held on the well-appointed Cahalan family lands at Ballingarry.

This popular right-handed course was in pristine condition with a lush covering of grass making conditions ideal for participants on the final weekend of the 2022/23 season.

Large crowds turned up both afternoons and were treated to top-class fare where all that is good about racing between the flags was on show.


Kerry jockey Ross Sugrue was the star man on the opening afternoon with the 21-year-old bagging two winners.

Wicklow trainer, Gerard Lawless, started the ball rolling for Sugrue when he gave the Tralee-native the mount aboard 10/1 outsider Diamond Jetaway in the five-year-old mares’ maiden. One of three Lawless runners in the race, Diamond Jetaway made every yard of the running under an enterprising ride.

Clear from the drop of the flag, the daughter of Jet Away proved a gutsy sort when staying on powerfully in the closing stages to beat Game Colours by a length.

“Ross gave this mare a peach of a ride, real copybook stuff,” reported Lawless.

“We’ve been running her of soft ground, but she is much better on nicer going. It’s great to get the win. We only have three horses in training, and they all ran in the race.

“We’ve always thought a lot of this mare and Mahlers Dream was third in it for us as well. The victorious Ballydonagh Syndicate are all family members, so it’s been a brilliant afternoon for us all.”

Sugrue went on to complete his double in the first division of the five-year-old geldings’ maiden where he brought the Sean Doyle-trained Moves Like Monty (4/1) home in front. Having made eye-catching progress before the home turn, the Monbeg Partnership-owned son of Sageburg pulled clear to defeat Sunny Light by fourteen lengths.

Gerard Doyle, representing his brother Sean, disclosed: “This is a nice horse, it’s just taken a little while for the penny to drop with him. He took a heavy fall the last day but won in great style today. He’ll go to the sale in Doncaster next week.

“Ross gave him a great ride. He’s a good lad. He’s with us for a while now and we are glad to give him a winner. He works for my brothers Sean, Donnchadh and Cormac and isn’t afraid of hard work. I’m delighted for him.”

Division-one was a much tighter affair with victory going to Northern raider Aughafatten. Dara McGill did the steering aboard the Mahler-sired 6/1 winner, who pulled out all the stops in the closing stages to beat Minella Miracle by a neck.

The winner is trained in Broughshane, Co. Antrim by Gerald Quinn who stated: “This horse was sold to a syndicate to stay in the yard. It’s brilliant he’s won for them. He’s a horse who is maturing all the time and had a couple of nice runs before today.”

Wexford owner-trainer, Harley Dunne, saddled two runners in the opening four-year-old mares’ maiden and he enjoyed the perfect result where his Breaking Silence overcame his pace-setting stable companion Can’t Touch This in a gripping finish.

The pair had the race to themselves off the home bend with the Frankie Murphy-ridden Breaking Silence (8/1) just shading it when beating Tiernan Power-Roche’s mount Can’t Touch This by a neck.

The victorious daughter of Doyen stepped forward from her first outing at Fairyhouse when pulled up behind the highly-regard Qualimita.

Dunne said: “There was only a toss of a coin between them on homework and that’s the way it worked out in the race too. She’s a nice mare and was keen first time, but today is more of a reflection of her ability.

“I’m delighted for Frankie too as that’s his first winner. He is from Skibbereen in County Cork, is just 17-years-old and is a great worker. If all is well on Monday, both the first and second will be on the boat for next week’s sale in Doncaster.”

Garrett Murphy visited the winner’s enclosure when his 4/1 chance Boys Will Be Boys showed a nice turn of foot to land the four-year-old auction maiden. Shane O’Rourke produced the son of Valirann with a telling challenge when surging to the front on the run-in to beat runner-up Black Occ by a length.

The victorious Duncormick, Co. Wexford-based trainer remarked: “We took a bit of a chance running him again just six days after his run in Bartlemy last week (finished sixth), but he was well in himself. He has always shown plenty at home, it’s great to have a winner here.”

Five went to post in the open lightweight where - after a thrilling contest - a dead-heat between Stranger Danger and Focus Point was the outcome.

Champion trainer Colin Bowe trains Stranger Danger (5/1) at his Wexford yard and Ross Berry’s mount was game. Dan Hyde got a great tune out of 3/1 chance Focus Point - trained by his grandfather Timmy Hyde - who got up close home to force a share of the spoils.

Stranger Danger is likely to stay pointing next season according to Bowe’s stable representative Keith Cogley, while Focus Point’s long-term target is next year’s Foxhunter’s in Aintree.

Carlow trainer Willie Murphy has enjoyed a terrific campaign and he posted his twelfth winner of the season when his No More Lockdown came out on top in the concluding winners of one contest.

A first success in the saddle for 22-year-old Navan native Luke Carberry, No More Lockdown (3/1) assumed command after the penultimate fence and saw off all challengers when holding the effort of runner-up Chitchat Sally by two-and-a-half-lengths.

“We’ve had our best season ever with twelve wins and I’m delighted that Luke has ridden his first winner. He’s a good lad and is with me three days a week. He has a bright future.

“No More Lockdown is owned by Arthur Donald who is vet at home near me in Ballon. He’s a good, tough horse and stuck to his guns well when it was needed.”


Local Fethard-based trainer Willie Treacy kept the flag flying for the home brigade when his 7/4 favourite Bennettshill ran out an impressive winner of the six-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The second leg of a double for Cork jockey Johnny Barry, Bennettshill had just one previous outing when fifth in a similar contest at Dromahane. The son of Mahler overcame a 406-day break when making most of the running to beat American Hero by four lengths.

Winning owner-trainer Treacy wasn’t present, but his son Liam remarked: “Dad isn’t here today, he is at home recovering from a recent hip operation. Today’s victory will give him a bit of a fillip. This horse had a very good run first time out.

“We made much more use of him today and those tactics worked a treat. Johnny was good on him, it’s nice to get on the scoreboard. He’s a horse with a good future.”

Half-an-hour earlier Barry had initiated the first leg of his double when guiding 6/4 favourite The Kids Choice to victory in the six-year-old mares’ maiden. A daughter of Sholokov representing Cork trainer Eamonn Gallagher, The Kids Choice took up the running two out and was always holding the effort of runner-up Neat Locality with two lengths separating the pair at the line.

The winning trainer divulged: “This mare has been improving away all the time. Her last run (finished second in Dromahane three weeks earlier) was a good one and she came forward from that again today.

“We’ll probably go to the track with her now. She’s very well bred; she is a half-sister to nine-time track winner Loosen My Load. It’s taken a bit of time, but she’s a tough, game mare who always gives of her best.”

Sunday was a red-letter day for UK-born, Sophie Carter, who posted her first success as rider when steering the Colin Bowe-trained Croí Corcra to victory in the mares’ winners of three event.

The 23-year-old Oxford native - who works full-time with champion trainer Bowe - was very competent aboard the Patrick Fortune-owned six-year-old who made all the running to record an eight-length success over the never-nearer Morning Star. The winner, who was returning from a 282-day lay-off, could return to the track over the summer.

Seven faced the starter in the open lightweight for Lady riders with victory going to the ageless 9/4 shot Fr Humphrey. Owned, trained, and ridden by Cork girl Niamh Hennessy, this 15-year-old showed there’s plenty of life left in the front-running son of Carlo Bank as he toughed it out in the closing stages to beat fellow Cork raider Act In Time by two lengths.

“He’s a dream horse, an absolute legend,” declared Ms Hennessy.

“He is such a gentleman of a horse and very easy to train. We’ll let him off for a well-earned summer break, he’ll come back in the autumn and, hopefully, we’ll have plenty more fun with him,” added the Fermoy native who works in Grove Stud.

Sunday was also a very important occasion for Meath jockey Jack Sutton as he notched up his first winner aboard Lanziano in the concluding seven-year-old and upwards maiden.

This lightly-raced seven-year-old was having just his tenth career start and belied his 14/1 starting price when, having led before three out, he kept on strongly to beat runner-up Knockiel Synge by three-and-a-half-lengths.

This victory was made even sweeter for Sutton as he also trains the winner at his stables near Ashbourne.

Wexford owner-trainer David O’Brien was on target in the opening eight-runner four-year-old geldings’ maiden where his Walkingoneggshells (6/1) scored under a positive Simon Kavanagh drive.

Again front-running tactics were successfully employed by the Westmeath jockey in this eight-runner test where the Affinisea-bred youngster led from trap-to-line for an impressive four-length verdict over Driveondonn.

The victorious handler disclosed: “I think this lad has been unlucky up to now to be honest. He’s a talented horse and turned in a good performance today. Martin Kelly from Blackwater owns half of him, and we’ll have a chat about where we go with him now.”

Ballingarry Point to Point Results


Goffs UK Spring Sale & Murphy Contractors 4-Y-O Mares’ Maiden. 3 miles.

1. Harley Dunne’s Breaking Silence B M (Doyen-Mount Corkish) 11-11 Mr F P Murphy.

2. Harley Dunne’s Can’t Touch This 11-11 Mr TP Roche.

3. JB O’Connor’s Nobody’s Perfect 11-11 Mr D O’Connor.

13 Ran. Dist: Nk. 17L.

Denis Hogan Racing 4-Y-O Auction Maiden. 3 Miles.

1. Turbine Syndicates Boys Will Be Boys B G (Vailrann-Pear Tart) 11-11 Mr S E Rourke.

2. Matthew Flynn-O’Connor’s Black Occ 11-11 Mr B Lawless.

3. Sam Curling’s Virtuose D’Ainay 11-11 Mr D O’Connor.

8 Ran. Dist: IL. 2L.

Duggan Veterinary Supplies 5-Y-O Mares’ Maiden. 3 miles.

1. Ballydonagh Syndicate’s Diamond Jetaway B M (Soldier Of Fortune-Jet Mistress) 11-11 Mr R Sugrue.

2. Mrs B Power’s Game Colours 11-11 Mr B Dunleavy.

3. Frank O’Donnell’s Mahlers Dream 11-11 Mr S E O’Rourke.

16 Ran. Dist: 1L. 1L.

Clifton Farm 5-Y-O Geldings’ Maiden. (Division One) 3 miles.

1. PJ McBurney’s Aughafatten B G (Mahler-Olivia Rose) 12-2 Mr D McGill.

2. Mary K Murphy’s Minella Miracle 12-2 Mr JC Barry.

3. Peter Flood’s Creapapy 12-2 Mr L J Murphy

3. Matthew Flynn-O’Connor’s Iturgeon Du Bresil 12-2 Mr B Lawless.

10 Ran. Dist: Nk. 4L. DH.

Division Two

1. Monbeg Partnership’s Moves Like Monty B G (Sageburg-Toulon Pass) 12-2 Mr R Sugrue.

2. Peter Flood’s Sunny Light 12-2 Mr LJ Murphy.

3. Donal Barnwell’s Barnwick 12-2 Mr C O’Donovan.

11 Ran. Dist: 14L. 2L.

Foreman’s Open Lightweight. 3 miles.

1. Mrs T Hyde’s Focus Point B G (Robin Des Champs-Through The Lens) 7 12-2 Mr D T Hyde

1. Milestone Bloodstock Ltd Stranger Danger B G (Sholokov-Vinorine) 8 12-2 Mr R A Berry.

3. Ray Nicholas’ Bold Enough 12-2 Mr B O’Neill.

5 Ran. Dist: DH.

Liffey Mills Winners Of One - Novice Riders. 3 miles.

1. Raheenwood Syndicate’s No More Lockdown B G (Yeats-Back Of The Pack) 8 12-2 Mr L J Carberry.

2. Jim O’Keeffe’s Chitchat Sally 11-11 Mr C O’Keeffe.

3. Owen O’Flynn’s Inchdaly Robin 12-2 Mr A Burke-Ott.

10 Ran. Dist: 2L. 1L.


Tattersalls NH & T Toohey & Sons 4-Y-O Geldings’ Maiden. 3 miles.

1. David O’Brien’s Walkingoneggshells B G (Affinisea-Much Appreciated) 11-11 Mr S Cavanagh.

2. Michael Kenny’s Driveondonn 11-11 Mr J C Barry

3. Monbeg Farm Racing Partnership’s Passengerontheship 11-11 Mr J W Hendrick.

8 Ran. Dist: 4L. 1L.

Fairymount Farm Adventures Ltd & Alan King Agri Sales 6-Y-O Mares’ Maiden. 3 miles.

1. Josephine Gallagher’s The Kids Choice B M (Sholokov- The Kids Dante) 11-11 Mr J C Barry.

2. John H & Miriam Murphy’s Neat Locality 11-11 Mr L J Murphy.

3. Brigid Kiernan’s Dancetilldawn 11-11 Mr S Cavanagh.

7 Ran. Dist: 2L. 8L.

Jimmy Neville Memorial 6-Y-O Geldings’ Maiden. 3 miles.

1. W F Treacy’s Bennettshill B G (Mahler-Brianna) 12-2 Mr J C Barry.

2. Michael E O’Callaghan’s American Hero 12-2 Mr C J Shine.

3. Ken Bolger’s Radharc Na Slaine 12-2 Mr J J Walsh.

9 Ran. Dist: 4L. 2L.

Fairymount Properties & Seymour Kenny Mares’ Winners Of Three. 3 miles.

1. Patrick Thomas Fortune’s Croí Corcra B M (Soldier Of Fortune-Rapid Heartbeat) 12-2 Ms S Carter.

2. Emmet O’Gorman’s Morning Star 12-2 Mr J C Barry.

3. Conor O’Brien’s Lady Kate 12-2 Mr C J Shine.

6 Ran. Dist: 8L. 8L.

Dr John Sazenski Memorial Open Lightweight for Lady Riders. 3 miles.

1. Niamh Hennessy’s Fr Humphrey CH G (Carlo Bank-An Realt Beag) 15 11-11 Ms N Hennessy.

2. Terence O’Brien’s Act In Time 12 11-11 Ms A Budds.

3. Cathal Healy’s Gosheven 10 11-11 Ms F Fox.

7 Ran. Dist: 2L 5L.

The Glue Pot 7-Y-O & Upwards Maiden. 3 miles.

1. Raymond J Sutton’s Lanziani B G (Last Train-Lanciana) 7 12-2 Mr J P Sutton.

2. Hugh Mulvihill’s Knockiel Synge 9 12-2 Mr D McGill.

3. Claire Doyle’s Delias Pet 8 12-2 Mr D Doyle.

15 Ran. Dist: 3L. 12L.