The Horseware/TRM National Grand Prix at Ballinasloe proved to be a showcase of talented local riders and the Cruising line as they dominated the top placings last Saturday. Taking the win in the €5,000 Devenish Nutrition-sponsored class was Galway rider Damien Griffin riding Tabby.
Owned by Pamela Donaghy, the 11-year-old gelding by Captain Clover out of a Cruising mare Majestic Cruise has been a loyal servant for Griffin with a series of good results from the aged classes up to Premier Series level. Among their good results was a second place finish in the Cork Premier Series in 2014.
It was a well supported round with 42 combinations on the start-list taking on James Tarrant’s track.
Going late in the jump-off, Griffin wasted no time as he lodged the winning round in 39.63 seconds. Reigning National Grand Prix Champion, Darryl Walker partnered Riverside Ace to a clear in 40.92 for second place.
Clare native Joan Greene opted for a more careful approach with Liam Brennan’s Coolgrange Cruising and it paid off as she lodged a clear in 43.77 for eventual third. Coolgrange Cruising is a mare by Furisto’s Trump and out of the Cruising-sired mare Cloneen Diamond.
It was a well worthwhile trip for Kildare rider Edward Doyle as he accounted for fifth place when clear with Derryinver Luxury Cruise in 44.77 for eventual fourth. Owned by Paul Larkin, this stallion is by Lux Z and out of the Cruising sired mare Icing. Fifth place belonged to Galway rider Jessica Burke clear in 44.85 with CC Captain Cruise.
Owned by Gabriel Slattery, the stallion is a 10-year-old by Captain Cruise out of the Cruising-sired mare Water Cruising.
In sixth place was Shane Goggins riding Thomas Mannion’s eight-year-old gelding Defi Bigtime, clear in 54.60.
Horseware/ TRM Premier
Runner-up on Saturday, Darryl Walker went one better as he led the victory lap in the Devenish-sponsored class. Riding Ringwood Construction’s 12-year-old mare Riverside Ace, Walker was the fastest clear of the 18 way jump-off in 42.28.
Walker said: “The mare is naturally fast so it was up to me to make sure that we got the tight turns. There was a really good standard in the class and as a result 18 went into the second round.
“I was unlucky to have one down with my other horse Cushions but it gave me the advantage of knowing what I needed to do when I returned with my second horse,” said the Dublin rider.
Local rider Jenny Rankin also kept everything in place with Baccarat, albeit in a slower time of 45.53 for second. Neal Fearon added to his tally when he finished in third with Billy On Time, clear in 48.31, ahead of Phillip Carey and Hip Boy in 48.50.
Winner of the Grand Prix in Barnadown, Ger O’Neill and the eight-year-old stallion Dondoctro Ryal K were in the line-up again, this time taking fifth place when clear in 52.73.
Jordan Coyle proved that the time could be beaten when he clocked 40.14 with Colour Blue but four faults saw them finish in sixth.