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Derek O'Connor will be hoping to saddle a few winners at Quakerstown. Photograph by John Kelly

White flag raised for Quakerstown

The recent improvement in ground conditions has been welcomed by point-to-point secretary Paul O’Neill who is eagerly looking forward to the County Clare Hunt’s annual Easter Sunday fixture at Quakerstown in Tubber.

“We are thrilled that the weather has picked up to allow us run this meeting as a lot of meetings have been lost this season,” stated the Quin man.

“The track is in super condition and Gerry Lee who owns the land is a great supporter of ours and racing in general. Easter is quite early this year, but it’s super to have such a track like this at our disposal. There is a great covering of grass on it and we have the fences in place so it is all systems for Sunday.  This meeting enjoys quite a high profile and the fact that we have received 103 entries for six races reflects that. Quite a number of top-class horses have started their careers at Quakerstown – Cheltenham Festival winner Champagne Fever is on that springs to mind – and it is very possible we will have a few more future stars in action on Sunday,” added O’Neill

The first race on Sunday at 2pm is a four-year-old maiden which will be followed half an hour later by a five-year-old maiden. The third race is a five and six-year-old mares’ maiden with a winners of  one next on the card. A five and six-year-old mares’ maiden is the penultimate event with the always popular confined maiden bringing proceedings to a close.

Top trainers like Pat Doyle, Robert Tyner, Colin Bowe and the Doyle brothers, Sean and Donnchadh, from Wexford have horses listed for duty, while local handlers Donie Hassett, Norman Lee, the Costello  clan will be hoping to keep some of the spoils at home.

Top jockey Derek O’Connor, who was on the mark with even-money favourite Silent Steps in the mares’ maiden at Liscarroll, County Cork last Sunday, can be relied upon to deliver a winner of two while Quin jockey Paul O’Neill is also riding well at present.

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