Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Duff's goodbye to Downpatrick

The name of the last race yesterday at Downpatrick said it all — it was the ‘Goodbye & Thanks Iain Duff Flat Race’.

Duff retired yesterday as course registrar of the Co Down track after 26 years of service.

The lifelong Queen of the South fan, now 70, looked on as Katie Walsh — sister of Ruby — rode |4-1 shot Spreeksteen to victory in the race named in his honour.

Walsh hit the front at half-way and James Leavy's charge went on to record a three-and-a-half length success over Shabra Charity.

It was a family affair when Luke and Mark McNiff combined to win the Toals World Cup Handicap Hurdle with High Talk.

Jockey Luke made every post a winning one on his brother's six-year-old, which was having his first run for 56 days. The result was never in doubt and the 10/1 shot coasted home to win by eight lengths.

The money came for Shaciara in the staying maiden hurdle and she rewarded her supporters.

The filly was as big as 6/1 on track but was punted into 3/1 joint-favourite alongside Lea Lady.

Bryan Cooper sent the gamble to the front before the third last and his partner kept up the gallop to record a victory over her market rival.

Meanwhile, Tony McCoy travelled north to Perth yesterday and rode a double for trainer Gordon Elliott, Nedzer’s Return and The Rocking Dock doing the business.

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