Lisa O’Neill secures back-to-back Kerry National wins
Potters Point obliges at 8-1 as trainer Gordon Elliott claims Listowel feature
Lisa O’Neill secured back-to-back victories in the Guinness Kerry National as Potters Point won the feature at Listowel. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Lisa O’Neill secured back-to-back victories in the Guinness Kerry National as Potters Point held off Arkwrisht and Bay Of Freedom in the Listowel feature.
Gordon Elliott made no secret of the fact he felt O’Neill was on the best of his three runners and Potters Point duly obliged at odds of 8-1.
Bay Of Freedom was up against the might of Gigginstown House Stud turning into the straight, with the eventual first two and A Toi Phil still holding chances for that owner.
Approaching the last Potters Point hit the front, but Bay Of Freedom kept plugging on against the rail.
Arkwrisht and Andrew Ring were also closing down the outside, but the rider had lost his irons and eventually went down by half a length.
Fergal O’Brien’s Viva Steve stayed on to claim fourth.
Elliott and O’Neill celebrated 12 months ago with Wrath Of Titans and O’Neill was also successful at the Cheltenham Festival on Tiger Roll in the National Hunt Chase.
O’Neill said: “I’m getting fond of Listowel and it’s just great to be getting these opportunities. Winning this race twice and also Tiger Roll at Cheltenham is fantastic, but I’m very privileged to be part of a great team.
“It has taken me a while to get the opportunities, but all the hard work that has gone in makes it mean that bit more.
“He gave me a great spin and was travelling that well he took me into the race a bit earlier than I intended.”
Riven Light continued his progression on the Flat with a smooth win in the Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes.
Trained by Willie Mullins, Riven Light had plied his trade over hurdles since arriving from France but with his attentions switched to the level, he has made giant strides and won a big pot at Galway.
Upped to Listed level, he never looked in any danger under Kevin Manning.
The 11-8 favourite put the race to bed some way out and while Dermot Weld’s Zawraq, returning from a long absence, closed to within three-quarters of a length, he never looked like winning.
Manning said: “It was a great spare ride to get, he’s a smart horse. As soon as I came off the bend, he was gone.
“He was doing nothing in front, but I think he’s a very smart horse.
“Willie is a pleasure to ride for and as soon as I moved on him, it was all over.”