Catriona's Joy makes journey from Tarbert to Bandon worthwhile for Patrick O'connor
THE Callanan Cup, which was the feature on last weekend's card at the Bandon and Careys Cross meeting, made its way back to Tarbert for the third year in succession as the Patrick O'Connor trained Catriona's Joy (Razor Ashmore/Lils Glory) claimed the top prize and continued an amazing run of success at the meeting for the Saleen kennels.
Having claimed victory in 2010 and 2011 with Razor Ash, O'Connor's latest hound to have his name etched on the trophy, came into the event on the back of a credible performance in Cappaquin where he had been withdrawn in the final of the Cup. However, on this occasion he had things all his own way in the decider, as he literally flew from slips against Colla Eoin, and by the halfway stage the result was beyond doubt and Catriona's Joy continued to open further daylight between the pair with a fourlength margin being the winning distance by the opening turn.
The winner is owned by Liam 'Speedie' Nolan from Moyvane and may well reappear over the Christmas period.
Kerry owned runners also took the honours in both Trial Stakes, with Catch Hunter (Sandy Sea/Kilflynn Fairy) claiming the Derby ticket and Misty Echo (Kyle James/Misty Hazel) proving best in the Reserve Oaks.
Catch Hunter came into the event on the back of some poor form from his four previous outings in which he had failed to raise a single flag. However, trainer Bridget Leen seemed to have worked her magic of late with this April puppy and he put in some accomplished performances en route to the decider. He took on the Dan Brassil trained Nocturnal Luca for a place in Febuarys classic, who incidently was a 3/1 on shot by the quarter-final stage.
However, the Noel Leen owned runner bellied his outsider tag with a terrific display of early pace which proved significant as he hit the early and never relinquished his lead which stretched to a length and a half by the opening score. While the winner will be an outsider for Derby success, he will not be found lacking for stamina and is well capable of producing a bold show.
Misty Echo running for Ballyduffs John Holihan was another winner who bellied her early season form. She had shown signs of improvement when running up the Village Inn Stake at Ballyduff two weeks previous, however she went one better here in what incidently was very much a local final as Ballyduff Girl in the colours of Jimmy Browne provided the opposition. The latter came off worse from a semifinal hunt and this handicapped her chances of final victory. However taking nothing away from the winner, Misty Echo was foot perfect in the decider as she got her head in front early and repelled the efforts of her challenger to take the flag by a length. The draw for the reserves took place on Monday with the Bandon qualifier taking the eight Reserve position for the Classic.
The Munster Cup at Newcastlewest is the feature of next weekend's action, where favourite for the event, Kyle King, will be hoping that he can get back to winning ways.
His main rivals being former Irish Cup winner Derby Pines and recent Rathkeale winner Bythewindsailor from the Lixnaw kennels of Donal O'Connell.