IT was a night for the bookmakers in Kilbeggan last Friday at the first meeting of the season with none of the favourites managing to pass the post first.
In front of a large crowd in glorious sunshine an array of outsiders, including a 25/1 shot in the first race, won the seven races on the card. Jockey Johnny Cullen, who recently became the proud father of twin boys, saddled the winner of the first. Long shot Caribbean Sea had a half length to spare in the first race just edging out Akatara with favourite Priors Gold a full nine lengths back in third.
Knockreigh gave Harley Dunne his first winner on his very first ride in the second race, the Kilbeggan Races Patrons Club Maiden Hurdle at a price of 16/1.
In the third race, the Greville Arms Hotel Handicap Hurdle, Meath trainer Patrick Downey recorded his first success in Kilbeggan with the 8/1 shot Larkin who was ridden by Robbie Colgan.
The odds on the winners continued to fall when 6/1 shot Annie May cantered home with nine lengths to spare in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Steeplechase ahead of Coolharbour Breeze in second and 50/1 shot Present Promise a further 15 lengths back in third.
The penultimare race, The Sean Hughes Memorial Handicap Steeplechase went to 8/1 shot Artiste Bay ahead of Pistol Jack and Guts For Garters while the final race, the Loughnagore INH Flat Race went to Sallyanka at 7/1.
5.50pm Kilbeggan Maiden Hurdle
1st Caribbean Sea 25/1
2nd Akatara 5/2
3rd Priors Gold 15/8f
6.20pm Kilbeggan Races Patrons Club Maiden Hurdle
1st Knockreigh 16/1
2nd Macarthur 7/2
3rd Lucky Loch 25/1
6.50pm Greville Arms Hotel Handicap Hurdle
1st Larkin 8/1
2nd The Tinker Murray 25/1
3rd Fastey 14/1
7.20pm Irish Stallion Farms EBF(Mares) Beg. S´ch
1st Annie May 6/1
2nd Coolharbour Breeze 12/1
3rd Present Promise 50/1
7.50pm Sean Hughes Memorial H´cap S´chas
1st Artiste Bay 8/1
2nd Pistol Jack 8/1
3rd Guts For Garters 7/2f
8.20pm Loughnagore INH Flat Race
1st Sallyanka 7/1
2nd Cliff Climber 4/1
3rd Fantastic Gold 33/1