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O'Connor back with a bang


Derek O'Connor

Derek O'Connor

Derek O'Connor

Derek O'Connor returned to action with a victory as Kilbarry Beauty skipped through the Cork mud to land the www.corkracecourse.ie INH Flat Race.

Off since February after breaking his femur in a fall at Musselburgh, O'Connor plotted a wide course on the 6-1 chance and had plenty of ground to make up after the turn for home.

Clar Na Mionn kept his lead on the far rail, but Kilbarry Beauty romped clear to record a nine and a half-length verdict, giving trainer John Kiely a double on the night.

O'Connor said: "I'm delighted to be back especially with Punchestown on this week."

Kiely said: "She lived up to what I had hoped for at Clonmel. Nina (Carberry) rode her there and wasn't too hard on her and she has shown the benefit of that now. It took a long time for the penny to drop with her to race. Hopefully she will go on from here.

"I'm delighted Derek was back to ride her as there are very few like him to be able to hold her together on ground like that."

Kiely had earlier struck in the most valuable race on the card when Saint Gervais landed the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap Hurdle.

The 15-8 favourite had taken four attempts to get off the mark over timber before scoring at Clonmel, but a second hurdles win was always on the cards when Andrew McNamara pushed him into the lead after the second last.

Staying on well in the closing stages, the 15-8 favourite had a length and a half in hand of Anshan Dreams at the line.

Kiely said: "Andrew kept him out wide on the better ground and he was travelling all the way. It was definitely a benefit that he kept wide. I thought the ground might be too soft for him but it's not deep it's slushy."