Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

In-form Oliver has US success in sight

Pepparpot (left) lands ahead of the eventual winner Cracking Man at Downpatrick

Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver, who sent out Jabus to win at Downpatrick on Saturday, will contest the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park next month with First Cornerstone.

The horse is owned by American-based Team Valour, also owners of Animal Kingdom, winner of this year's $10million Dubai World Cup.

First Cornerstone's previous race was last month's French Derby with the Caledon-based trainer providing Frankie Dettori with his first group race mount on his return to race riding.

First Cornerstone finished down the field behind the highly regarded Intello, current favourite for the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe.

Oliver confirmed his stable star would run at Newbury next weekend ahead of the tilt at the American contest.

As for Jabus' win in the Jumping Leprechauns Handicap Hurdle at Downpatrick – which attracted a crowd of almost 5,000 – Oliver added: "Mark (Enright) gave him a lovely ride.

"We ran him at Wexford last time and he did nothing. He seems to like Downpatrick and we decided to ride him positively – they continue to surprise!"

Leading local owners Joe and Pat Sloan, from Templepatrick, followed up their double at last month's Down Royal Ulster Derby meeting by winning the Winner Alright Hurdle with Time To Work, easily defeating odds on favourite Dylan Ross.

Winning trainer Gordon Elliott said a handicap hurdle at Galway was the next likely target while Time To Work's rider, champion jockey Davy Russell, heaped praise on the course management and staff for the condition of the track.

"What a job they have done. You'd imagine it would be difficult to water here but they got it spot on and it's beautiful ground," said Russell.

Noel Meade gained compensation for the defeat of Dylan Ross when Silver Tassie added to the tally of success at local tracks for the Belfast-based Hunt family who have a large team of horses with the Navan trainer.

Meade said: "He's entered in the Doncaster Sales in August and I will discuss with the owners if he goes there.

"He loves fast ground and was entitled to win."

Cracking Man, winner of the opener under Robbie Colgan, has Galway on the agenda.

The talented youngster, trained by Michael O'Hare for his mother Tracey, was making a winning debut over hurdles.

"If he is okay after today we will aim at a novice hurdle at the Galway Festival," said the Louth-based handler.

In-form trainer Tony Martin recorded his fifth winner in a week when The Finger Post completed Colgan's double by beating locally-trained odds on favourite Over Church Road.

The County Meath trainer said: "He'll have a couple of weeks off now and then go for a good novices hurdle."

Martin was denied a double when favourite Easy Vic was beaten by a short head in the handicap hurdle by Presenting Kate, ridden by Conor Maxwell, which kept on in dour fashion to hold off the belated challenge of the runner-up.

The surprise 14/1 winner was supplying trainer Dermot McLoughlin with his second winner of the week, having recorded success with big 33/1 outsider Ocean Bright at Bellewstown last Sunday.

The bumper provided another good result for bookmakers when Keith's Delight, with Katie Walsh in the saddle, beat favourite Lipinski when staying on best in the closing stages.

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