THE opening stage of the seven-day Listowel races attracted a huge attendance to the famous island course on Sunday, where they witnessed a hugely popular local winner, with the appropriately named Roadtoabbeyfeale.
Trained at nearby Duagh by Ballyduff native John Supple, and owned by businessman Johnny Byrnes, proprietor of the magnificent training facility at Duagh where Supple trains, landing a well executed gamble from 7/1 to 3/1, to easily win the 3ml maiden hurdle, under a well-judged drive by jockey Eddie O'Connell.
Waited with in mid division, he began to make eye catching progress to track the leaders three out. Going to the front into the straight he soon ascerted, and a brilliant jump at the last sealed the issue as he sprinted clear for four and a half length win, from 33/1 chance and third reserve on the racecard Kilnefrehanstar.
Supple was clearly thrilled with his success explaining: "We are all local men, and it's great to have a winner at home. What more could you ask for? This is a big relief as he has been unlucky a few times. He's a proper 3-mile chaser in the making, but I was unsure how he would handle the ground. We will probably find a 3-mile hurdle for him somewhere."