Fruitful day for Berry on stylish Hegrid
Jockey Fran Berry scored his fourth win in the Ulster Cesarewitch when Hegrid was successful in spectacular style at Downpatrick yesterday.
Trained by Tony Martin, a specialist in this type of race, Hegrid pounced on the turn for home to beat Princess Nicole by seven lengths with North Shore third.
A delighted Berry said: "I won this race twice before for Tony on Clever Consul and then I was successful for Arthur Moore on Madonna Fan."
Martin added: "Hegrid was fifth in the Galway Hurdle and on that run was virtually thrown in to today's handicap. Hegrid was trained for this race after his Galway performance and as for his next run I'll have to see how he comes out of today. All being well he could run at Listowel, but that is not certain."
When reminded that Berry had won the Downpatrick race four times, Martin joked: "We'd better not put him on the next good thing we send up here."
Hegrid was in mid-division for most of the race, but on the turn for home began to make steady ground and gradually caught the leader Princess Nicole who looked at one stage the likely winner.
However, once Hegrid had struck the front there was no way he was going to be beaten and the 15-8 favourite turned out to be an easy winner.
Earlier in the day Andrew McNamara had landed a double when he scored on Allgrownup in the mare's maiden hurdle and then followed up on Daniel Boone in the handicap hurdle. Daniel Boon is trained by Gerard Keane and was scoring his first win at nine-years-of age.
Keane said: "I'll probably run him again next Wednesday at Bellewstown if he is okay."
Jockey Ruby Walsh had his usual Downpatrick success when he scored on Monoceros in the opening maiden hurdle for Philip Rothwell who wasn't at the meeting.
Monoceros won by a length and three-quarters after starting 8-13 favourite.
Kevin Prendergast produced an easy winner in Dawla in the Down District Council Race. Dawla pounced under Declan McDonogh to catch Princely Hero and Nizamar and win by a length and a half.