Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Down Royal Festival 2013: Fashion, fillies and a win for AP McCoy

Published 01/11/2013

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2
Regal glamour rules at JNwine.com Ladies Day
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Regal glamour rules at JNwine.com Ladies Day
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Model Vogue Williams pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Spectators at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Regal glamour rules at JNwine.com Ladies Day
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Spectators at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Aisleen McGivern, Janice Crothers and Robyn Tucker pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 A punter in fancy dress at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Amelia Fowles at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Racegoers pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Geraldine McAllister pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Samantha Dempsey, Aoibhinn Stuart and Vivienne Murphy pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Elaine Waterworth and Deborah Markley pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Marie Scott, Keith Kane and Judith McBride pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland 2nd November 2013 Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 2 Sara Ellis and Nadine Lennon pictured at Down Royal Racecourse. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 WKD promotional girls at the Racecourse Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 5 (3:10) Porter & Co. Beginners Chase Davy Russell on Rye Martini
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Alex Price from Moira Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Zara McCombe and Pamela Ballentine Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 1 (1:05pm) Eventsec Maiden Hurdle Grainne McGarvey Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 3 (2:05) European Breeders Fund Lough Construction Ltd. Mares Novice Hurdle
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle. Winner A P McCoy on Jezki
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 WKD promotional girls at the Racecourse Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Tony McCoy with his family Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 2 (1:35pm) Allianz Handicap Hurdle Dean McGrath from Allianz presents Jack Woods, Bernard Woods and trainer Patrick Downey representing The King of Brega Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 7 (4.15) Archie Watson Memorial INH Flat Race Ebazziyr, winner of the 7th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Ruby Walsh in the parade ring. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Sophia and Jackie Campbell Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Ruby Walsh Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Red Hot Roosters entertain the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Moscow Flyer in the paddock Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 6 (3:45) Robinson Services Handicap Chase Sponsors Anita Wilson from Robinsons Services presents DecadePlayer trainer Philip Rothwell. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Laura Morris and Claire Withers Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 5 (3:10) Porter & Co. Beginners Chase Zara McCombe from Porter & Co presents trainer 0f Gold Bullet, Tom Taffe with the trophy. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with members of his family. after winning the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of the crowd. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Heather and Louise Brown from Moy. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Down Royal Manager with Mike Todd Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 General view of parade ring Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Winning jockey Tony McCoy, winning trainer Jessica Harrington and owner Frank Berry receives the winning trophies from Mrs Sloan from sponsors WKD. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with riding Jezki wins the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle Tony McCoy with riding Jezki after winning the 4th race. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 1 (1:05pm) Eventsec Maiden Hurdle Adrian McLeister Eventsec presents winning trainer of Doesheeverstop, Michael Hourigan. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 3 (2:05pm) European Breeders Fund Lough Construction Ltd. Mares Novice Hurdle Thomas and Elizabeth Tumelty present the trophy to winning owners of Gambling Girl, Alex, Gina and Edward Galvin. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 6 (3:45) Robinson Services Handicap Chase Winner, Eddie O'Connell on Decade Player
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 7 (4.15) Archie Watson Memorial INH Flat Race R P McNamara on Ebazziyr pips S Crawford on Carnduff to the finishing post
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 6 (3:45) Robinson Services Handicap Chase Winner, Eddie O'Connell on Decade Player takes control from the start
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 5 (3:10) Porter & Co. Beginners Chase
Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse - Day 1 Race 4 (2:35) WKD Hurdle. A P McCoy on Jezki ahead of Ruby Walsh on Caid Du Berlais

Tony McCoy moved to within eight victories of the magic 4,000-winner mark over jumps when Jezki made a smooth return to the track at Down Royal.

The 18-times champion jockey was out of luck on the first of two rides at the Northern Ireland circuit, but made no mistake in the Grade Two WKD Hurdle over two miles.

His task was, however, made pretty easy as Jezki proved a most willing ally.

Jessica Harrington's five-year-old, owned by JP McManus, was a three-times Grade One scorer last season and carried on the good work here.

With no-one keen to make the running, it was left to McCoy to cautiously take the initiative aboard the 2-9 favourite.

It might not have been an ideal scenario, but Jezki jumped with typical efficiency from the outset.

But such was the soporific early pace, it was no surprise to see most of the runners tightly bunched with two flights remaining.

Flaxen Flare even jumped the penultimate hurdle in unison with McCoy's partner, but Harrington's inmate soon blunted that rival's challenge along the home straight.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Caid Du Berlais then charged into contention, but he had no match for Jezki's finishing kick and was comprehensively defeated by three and a quarter lengths.

McCoy told At The Races: "I'm originally from not far from here - this was probably the first racecourse I went to as a child - so it's nice to be back.

"I haven't been here for five years. It's good to get a winner any time, but it's great to win here again."

McCoy now heads to Wetherby on Saturday to ride seven horses.

He then travels farther north to Carlisle on Sunday, where he has a strong book of six rides.

Of Jezki, McCoy said: "He was the best horse, it was just easier to do his own thing.

"I thought was very professional and I look forward to having another go on him.

"He's a very smart horse and it's nice to have a horse to have plans with.

"It was a good start in a muddling race and I was always happy with him."

Harrington said: "I'm absolutely delighted to get that out of the way. There was no pace and he had to do his own donkey work.

"He did it without much effort and he settled very well. He's grown up and Tony rode him out with hands and heels.

"The Morgiana Hurdle (Punchestown, November 17) is definitely an option because he needs match practice if he is going to take on Hurricane Fly and Our Conor.

"It was his first run of the season so he's bound to improve. He'll improve purely in a fast-run race.

"He answered every call."

It was an especially good day for the County Kildare handler as stablemate Gambling Girl (11-4) overcame a final-flight gaffe to claim Grade Three honours in the EBF Lough Construction Ltd Mares Novice Hurdle.

Harrington said: "I think she could be special. She made a bad mistake and went away again.

"She went long at the last and when she recovered, she went away from the second.

"She did a couple of very good pieces of work and she is a big mare so she'll only improve.

"The owners bred her so now she has got them black type."

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph