Oneco Express makes promising debut
A TEN race all graded programme over a variety of distances was down for decision at the Oakview venue on Friday night.
Persistent rain before and throughout the evening resulted in the stewards declaring an adjustment of .10 slow for sprints, .20 for 525 and 570 yards and .40 for the 750 yard trip.
Some promising debut runs included the winner of the fifth race for A5 class over 525 yards. Oneco Express was the name of the hound in question and this 18 month old son of Premier Fantasy - Longvalley Patch, who was bred by his owner, Martin Begley from Castleisland, showed himself to be one for the future with an eyecatching run.
Prominent around the opening turns, he showed superior pace on the far side to take it up and stayed on well to win by three lengths in 29.56 (Est: 29.36). Having recorded two quick winning qualifying trials in December prior to this victory, it would be surprising if there isn't more heard of this fellow in the coming months.
Another debutant to catch the eye was the winner of the second race for grade S7 over 325 yards. Sashas Blondi, owned by Terry Dearling of Ballyheigue posted a trap to line success in a fine 17.98 (Est: 17.88).
Though losing some ground by running wide off the last bend, the son of Ballymac Maeve - Sashas Tippa always had matters under control and ran out a four length winner from Earth Flight.
There was money in the ring beforehand for the winner, who may well make up for lost time as he is a November '10 whelp.
Fastest of the session over the standard trip was Chili Charlie, who recorded 29.46 (Est: 29.26) when winning the eighth race for grade A1.
Another to lead all the way, he was strongly challenged by the 5/4 favourite, Ballinorig Gold down the final straight and in an exciting finish held on to win by a neck. The winner is owned and trained in Rathmore by David Fleming.
Another winner to deserve special mention was Loher Madge who won the fifth race for grade S4 over 325 yards.
This lady is a credit to her owner, local man Noel O'Leary, as she was contesting the 67th race of her career. Now the winner of 13 races, the daughter of Ballymac Maeve-Fresh Glamour, who will be five years old in March, showed her younger rivals a clean set of paws when running out a one and a half length winner from Crann Mara Hope in 18.16 (Est: 18.06)
The one 750 yards race on the card for D4 class saw Helenas Kate go off odds on at 4/5. Having had two races over the distance in Cork without success, she made no mistake when changing gear on the far side to pick up the pacesetting Elmas Sparkle. To the delight of her supporters, she stayed on to win by two lengths from the early leader in 43.13 (Est: 42.73). The winner is owned locally by James Lynch.
To her credit, the runner-up Elmas Sparkle, without a win in 13 attempts, did well to keep tabs on the winner, pulling nine lengths clear of the third in the process. A maiden victory may well be near at hand.
For grade A3, the getting out stakes was an open looking contest, but produced an impressive winner in Knockeen Swift, owned by Roger O'Rahilly of Castleisland.
The winner showed good early, but lost her place rounding the opening corner.
However, to her credit she showed great tenacity to get herself back into contention and having forged to the front at the top of the home straight, ran on to win by two and-a-half lengths in 29.52 (Est: 29.32).
Making the victory all the sweeter for Roger was the fact that the winner is out of his own bitch, Knockeen Gypsy, the sire being Crash.
Other winners on the night were: Killahas Jet 29.86 (Est: 29.66) 525; Killorane Pluto 29.89 (Est: 29.69) 525; Gurteen Dubh 31.81 (Est: 31.61) 570; Dromkeen Champ 29.90 (Est: 29.70) 525.