Francis Connors ensured that the winners prize stayed on his home-soil at Ballylawn Stud, when he won the opening round of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster grand prix league on bank holiday Monday.
The Waterford rider’s winning round came aboard Hilda Anthony’s brilliant mare Uskerty Diamond Lady, who dominated this series in 2014 and on this form looks the one to beat again this season. This is the fourth year that Connolly’s RED MILLS have been title sponsor of the Munster Grand Prix League and speaking at the opening round in Ballylawn, RED MILLS sales representative John Gerety said,
“We are delighted to come on board once again this season and it is really encouraging the see even more venues added to the list, including Kingdom County this coming weekend. We are getting excellent feedback from competitors around the shows who are using our products and our nutrition team are always on hand to offer advice to all horse owners.”
Course builder Tom Holden brought the best out of the 25 starters, with nine making it through to the jump-off. Marion Hughes had set the early target with the Team Z7 owned eight-year-old gelding Laith. The Kilkenny riders time of 42.35 seconds did look beatable, however several combinations ran into trouble when jumping across the second last fence on the course and it quickly became apparent that clear rounds would be at a premium.