Waterford’s Francis Connors regained the outright lead at the top of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league table, with a win in the ninth round of the series at Newcastlewest in Limerick, aboard Hilda Anthony’s incredibly consistent mare Uskerty Diamond Lady.
Francis had seen his rival Seamus Hayes draw level with him at the top of the table, following three wins in a row for Hayes at Tallow, Clonmel and Cork, however reigning champion Connors was in stunning form at Newcastlewest, coming out on top after a 15 horse jump-off with a double clear round in 33.31 seconds in the McAuliffe Sand and Gravel sponsored competition.
The ten year old Carrick Diamond Lad mare Uskerty Diamond Lady, has already recorded wins this year in grand prix classes at Charleville and West Clare, while she finished second at Ballinamona and Clonmel.
Tipperary’s Liam O’Meara took runner up spot with Susan Sweetnam’s Zamir to add to the fourth place finished they recorded at Cork Summer Show, the ten year-old son of Epilot finishing clear in 34.28.
All of the top eight finishers at the Limerick venue managed to jump double clear rounds, including Francis Connors also finished third with Bobby Flynn’s Hyperion (34.46), the nine year old Lux Z gelding out of the dam Cruiseway, has had numerous top six placings in the Munster Grand Prix league the past two seasons.
William McDonnell slotted into fourth with the Ricardo Z mare Ballinagore Ice finishing in 34.56 seconds, while young rider Timmy Doyle produced another impressive result when taking fifth place with Kay Doyle’s JS Bucks, just ahead of Tralee’s Maura Counihan who took sixth spot with Killerisk Minnie.
This latest result sees Francis Connors move ten points clear at the top of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix leaderboard, before the next round of the series at Dungarvan Show in Waterford on Thursday, 24 July. Seamus Hayes occupies second place with Liam O’Meara close behind in third.
Result – Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix League – Round 9 Newcastlewest Limerick 20 July 2014
1. Francis Connors/Uskerty Diamond Lady 0/0 33.31
2. Liam O’Meara/Zamir 0/0 34.28
3. Francis Connors/Hyperion 0/0 34.46
4. William McDonnell/Ballinagore Ice 0/0 34.56
5. Timmy Doyle/JS Bucks 0/0 35.18
6. Maura Counihan/Killerisk Minnie 0/0 35.40
7. Martha Healy/Serpent of Lux 0/0 36.49
8. David Moran/Derg Showtime 0/0 37.03
16 Into Jump-off
Overall Result – Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix League – Top Six Following Round 9 at Newcastlewest Limerick
1. Francis Connors 57 Points
2. Seamus Hayes 47
3. Liam O’Meara 41
4. Peter Moloney 31
5. Ethan Ahearne 18
6. Maura Counihan 15