Former British point-to-pointers are making their mark over fences in Ireland.
Following Eurobot’s success at Thurles yesterday it was the turn of Energumene today at Gowran Park, where he won a beginners’ chase under Paul Townend.
Formerly trained by Sophie Lacey, and an impressive winner of a maiden race at Larkhill in January 2018 (pictured above after his win under Tommie O’Brien), he was subsequently sold privately into Willie Mullins’ yard. Off the track for 20 months, the son of Denham Red ran well when third on his debut for Mullins in a bumper, landed a similar race in January this year, and after a maiden hurdle victory just before the spring shutdown he was given his first chase start today.
Townend rode him like an odds-on shot, keeping out of trouble in front and staying to beat nine rivals without coming off the bridle.
On Sunday it will be the turn of his stablemate, former British pointer Blackbow, to make his first start over fences when lining up in a beginners’ chase at Navan (1.45). Another graduate from Lacey’s yard, Blackbow won a maiden race at Maisemore Park – beating Canelo who is now a useful handicap chaser at Alan King’s yard – and became a very smart bumper horse, winning at Gr.2 level and finishing fifth in Cheltenham’s Gr.1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
He failed to score in four maiden hurdles although he was narrowly beaten twice, and his career always looked destined to peak over fences.