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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Barbury winner Bailarico a ray of sunshine on a miserable weekend for sport

Conditions at Thurles on Sunday highlight how much rain fell in the area over the weekend
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The weather may have been too much for Dungarvan and Kilfeacle  last weekend but Bailarico's success at Barbury International point-to-point ensured not all Irish spirits were dampened.

Bailarico's win was the sole success for Ireland at the Wiltshire venue and ensured it was a worthwhile trip for the father and daughter team of Eugene and Maxine O’Sullivan as they landed the 2m4f open maiden by three-quarters of a length at 20-1.

Barbury International, which allows horses trained by registered track trainers and horses with an Irish hunter certificate to run at a British fixture, received rave reviews from Shark Hanlon following last year's inaugural event, so it was not surprising to see the Carlow trainer well represented again at the Wiltshire venue.

He was forced to settle for a brace of second-placed finishes after Whistling Dixie and Skyhill Allstar were beaten by former Irish point-to-point horses now running for British connections. They, along with Bailarico, were offered in the catalogue at yesterday’s Goffs January Horses-in-Training sale.

Those who ventured to Barbury on Saturday were the only racegoers to experience some point-to-point action over the weekend, with Sunday’s two fixtures in Ireland succumbing to the elements.

The Dungarvan Farmers fixture, which had been the subject of great anticipation ahead of a new layout being unveiled at their Dungarvan course, was the first of Sunday’s fixtures to fall to the wet weather.

Organisers will thankfully have a second opportunity to stage their meeting as the card, which attracted 79 entries, has been rescheduled for Sunday.

That quick rescheduling was made possible by the unfortunate cancellation of the Pigeon Hill and Carrightwohill fixture 24 hours earlier, freeing up a vacant date on the Cork & Waterford circuit.

John Whelan, secretary at the Carrigtwohill fixture, reported that following heavy rain they were left with no option but to cancel their fixture owing to one particularly wet patch of ground on the course.

With no free Sunday dates on the busy Cork-Waterford circuit, Whelan added that there are no plans to reschedule their 60th anniversary fixture at present, which had been due to feature a special family fun day to mark the occasion.

It is a similar situation for the Scarteen Foxhounds, as due to time limitations on the availability of the land that their course is situated on, there are no plans to reschedule their fixture at Kilfeacle which was also lost on Sunday due to the ground conditions.

The muddy scenes just 20 miles away at Thurles attested to just how much rain fell in the area over the weekend.

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