Winner alright, winner alright
The pairs that made the winners enclosure after our final race of the Xmas season are set out below.
Read below the full race report detailing the progress of the runners and riders
1st and €50 Voucher each
Rose Burke and Mary McElhinney (known in the full race report as Treasure (short for Treasurer)
2nd and €30 Voucher each
Jimmy Given and Rodney O’Hara (known in full race report as Last President (Rodney was our last DNR president)
Winner of the Novice/B Hurdle and €30 voucher each
Liam Dillon and Brenda Drury
Winners of the Tote Special Lucky Dip prizes
13th place and €25 voucher each Bernadette Lacey and Joanne Lyons.
(There was a steward’s inquiry after the race and it was found that Bernadette had also won a Lucky Dip prize on the previous week, so she had to forego this one)
27th place and winner of the hams (€30 voucher) that were returned to the pot from previous races
Phyllis Nolan and Owen Treanor
34th place and €25 voucher each
Helen Scannell and Tony Wall
Thank you to our Race Steward Mary Connell who ensured that all pairs raced with in the rules and to the Clerk of the Course – Aidan Synnott for setting up the race course and also a special
thanks to our PRO, Orla Murnane for all the publicity surrounding the event. Finally a big thanks to Dan O'Mahony, chief Elf, who did all the hard work behind the scenes!
Welcome to this the last race of our Xmas Card – the CAVBC/Foxbay One Mile Hurdle (No Kilometres for us) where we have 42 pairs going to post. The pre race favourite is the pairing of Mary Courtney/Fergus Synnott (hereafter known as “Sweetie”) with Mary having a wonderful record of 012 over the previous races. 2nd favourite is the pairing of John Treanor and Anne Keegan (hereafter known as “Monaghan Man”). While John’s record is 200, he has been there or thereabouts coming into the final furlong over the last two races and his loyal supporters hope that he will show more staying power on this occasion. There was some doubt at the start of the day as to whether Michael O’Keeffe would take part when he was given the handicap of being paired with Dick Kiernan. Michael (hereafter known as “Micko”) had the best record of 421 so far coming into this race, decided not to disappoint his followers and take part despite the handicap. This pairing was 3rd favourite with the bookies.
I am sitting here in the grandstand (actually it is my favourite armchair that I have managed to purloin from the wolf pack, laptop on one arm where the race unfolds, whiskey glass on the other arm and the “The Valhalla Murders”, a Nordic noire drama based in Iceland on the TV, which gives me the shivers and hence the need for the whiskey in the glass!) ready to describe the race for you.
And they’re off running down to the first hurdle with nothing between them. All clear at the first hurdle, the pairing of Rita Canavan/Rose Ball (hereafter known as “”Bridge Teacher”) sprints into the lead followed a good distance back by Helen Scannell/Tony Wall (hereafter known as “Lucky Ducks”) with Rose Burke/Mary McElhinney a close third (Treasure). All these pairs are from the Raheny stable. Are there tactics going on here? Could “Bridge Teacher” be a stalking horse for her stable companions?
Over the 2nd hurdle and “Bridge Teacher” shows her experience by totally blindsiding “Lucky Ducks” and consigning them to the pack behind. Meanwhile “Treasure” has kept pace with “Bridge Teacher” and moved into 2nd place, with 2nd favourite “Monaghan Man” in 3rd.
They are all clear over the 3rd, but “Treasure” takes up the running and is just a short head in front of stable companion “Bridge Teacher” and the outsider Maureen Deane/Frances Gill (hereafter known as “MCOWAP” – you will have to ask Frances about this) in 3rd and ominously the favourite “Sweetie” has moved into 4th place. “Monaghan Man” hits the hurdle hard and falls off the pace. On they go down the back straight to the 4th hurdle, all clear again, but “Bridge Teacher” can’t keep up with the pace and has fallen back into the pack. “Treasure” is still in front, but “Monaghan Man” has recovered from the previous mistake and has moved into 2nd and these two are now well clear of favourite “Sweetie” in 3rd. They are coming to the 5th hurdle at the end of the back straight and “Treasure” has extended her lead over “Monaghan Man” and “Sweetie” has recovered some ground and is a length behind in 3rd with “Last President” in 4th (that’s Jimmy Given and Rodney O’Hara for those of you who are not paying attention).
They are on the last bend now after the back straight and over the 6th hurdle. “Treasure” is still in front, but “Last President” has moved into 2nd and is mounting a serious challenge. “Monaghan Man” appears to be fading and has been relegated to 3rd. It looks like “Sweetie’s” race is run as she has fallen out of the top 6. On to the last but one hurdle from home and “Monaghan Man” has regained his composure and moved into the lead, “Treasure” 2nd and “Last President” 3rd with the Novice Pairing of Liam Dillon and Brenda Drury now in 4th.
And over the last and up the hill. On Board 22, “Treasure” makes 4 Spades + 2 and claws back half a length on “Monaghan Man”. Board 23 is the turning point. One Heart from Rose, Pass, 2NT from Mary, when most other Wests were bidding 2 Spades with their 4 card spade suit. Rose with her singleton diamond shies away from NT and bids 3 hearts followed by 4 hearts from Mary. A club lead from John and there is nothing to stop Rose making her 4 hearts. The majority of other pairs are in 4 spades or 3NT and going down, a swing of 11 IMPs to Rose and Mary and they romp home. Meanwhile Jimmy and Rodney are seeing off the challenge of Liam and Brenda and move to 2nd. However, Liam and Brenda have the consolation of winning the Novice/B prize. Barbara Chawke and the other “Monaghan Man” Nigel Hillis, sprint up the hill to finish 3rd with “MCOWAP” in 4th, just ahead of “Monaghan Man”. “Bridge Teacher” after her early exertions finished well down the field as did “Lucky Duck” who finished in 34th and won one of our draw prizes. “Micko”, exhausted from his exertions of the previous week, couldn’t overcome his handicap and finished with the also rans.
I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted after all that. There have been at least 3 gruesome murders in Iceland. My whiskey glass has been replenished after each murder and the wolfpack are challenging me for the armchair!
But seriously, well done to all our winners over our four Xmas Turkey Draws. You should all have received your Nolan’s vouchers by now. To the rest of you, thank you all for taking part. I think these have been great fun and the good news is there are more in the new year. Check out the CAVBC Bridgewebs Site to see the schedule.
Happy Xmas and Happy New Year from the CAVBC and Foxbay TDs