Just when it seemed that Francis Connors was building up an unassailable lead at the top of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league table, Seamus Hayes hit back with a stunning win in the eleventh round of the series at Maryville Stables in Cork.
For the third time this season the Tipperary riders winning mount was the Tina McDermott owned Cassini II sired Chipolini VM Z, the seven year old having already won league rounds at Tallow and Cork Summer Show, while the stallion has also already booked his place in the Connolly’s RED MILLS sponsored 7 & 8 Year Old International class at the up-coming Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.
Six of the 28 starters made it into the jump-off at Maryville, with Seamus Hayes posting the winning round with Chipolini VM Z when clear in 31,28 seconds. Tallow Waterford’s Tadhg Beecher took runner up spot with Loughnatousa Blakeney Crannagh with another clear, in a time that was only fractionally slower than the winner (31.40.) the same partnership having also finished second in the recent round of the Munster Grand Prix league at Cork Summer Show.
Seamus Hayes grabbed another slice of the prize fund when taking third spot with Barichello W, while another member of the Beecher family, former Hickstead Derby winner Paul Beecher, finished fourth with Captain Kelly.
Nenagh, Tipperary’s Liam O’Meara kept his hopes of league glory alive with a fifth place finish aboard Zamir, picking up four faults against the clock, while the only other rider to jump clear in round one Peter Leonard, also finished the clock round with just one fence on the floor to take sixth place with Capitol Cruis.
With the Dublin Horse Show and Millstreet International looming large over the coming weeks, The Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league now takes a four week break before round twelve of the series at Limerick Show on 24 August.
In total just four more league rounds remain, with the battle for the overall title still hanging in the balance, as Seamus Hayes win at Maryville means he now lies just six points behind league leader Francis Connors, while Liam O Meara is also in contention, fifteen points behind Hayes in third.
Results – Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league – Round 11 Maryville Co Cork 26 July 2014
1. Seamus Hayes/Chipolini VM Z 0/0 31.28
2. Tadhg Beecher/Loughnatousa Blakeney Crannagh 0/0 31.40
3. Seamus Hayes/ Barichello W 0/0 34.01
4. Paul Beecher/Captain Kelly 0/0 34.82
5. Liam O Meara/Zamir 0/4 33.20
6. Peter Leonard/Capitol Cruis 0/4 33.99
7. Martha Healy/Serpent of Lux 4/ 72.29
8. Maura Counihan/Killerisk Minnie 4/ 72.50
6 Into Jump-off
Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league Table – Top Six Following Round 11 Maryville Co Cork 26 July 2014
1. Francis Connors 67 Points
2. Seamus Hayes 61
3. Liam O’Meara 46
4. Peter Moloney 36
5. Tadhg Beecher 20
6. Ethan Ahearne 18