Jockey Chris flat out for victory
Crossgar apprentice jockey Chris Meehan registered his first flat winner when partnering Mywordismybond to victory in the opener at Lingfield on Saturday night.
The County Down lad had recorded five winners over jumps, four for Ulster trainer Neill Mulholland, before switching his attention to the flat.
"I've had only 14 rides on the flat in the past six weeks mostly for Peter Makin (trainer of Mywordismybond). Mr Makin has been very good to me and I was delighted to get a winner to reward his support."
Meehan gained considerable credit for his winner at Lingfield, coming from the worst draw on the outside to an inside rail and making all to score. "I'm 8 stone 7lbs stripped so weight is ok. I see my future on the flat and hope Lingfield is the first of many," he added.
Despite celebrating his own initial victory, Meehan took time to point out that his pal, Downpatrick rider Conor Smith had opened his account the previous evening at Bangor when winning the last race on The Wee Midget.
The Downpatrick rider is based with trainer Philip Hobbs and just switched from amateur status to a conditional jockey and Meehan was keen to highlight his friend's first victory.
Downpatrick rider Declan Lavery missed out on the mount on his boss Brian Hamilton's Wither Hills on the first night feature at the Galway Festival. when the weights failed to go up but gained compensation in the last on Saturday.
The local rider was seen to excellent advantage with an enterprising ride on the Dot Love trained Lucky Pat with his mount having his second outing at the festival.
The winner had finished sixth in Monday's bumper with Call Vinnie [second] and Old Storm [third] re-opposing and the first named, trained by Dermot Weld, starting odds on favourite. The winner was to the fore prior to being joined three quarters of a mile from home but led again three furlongs out and the move proved decisive with Lucky Pat always in command and holding the late challenge of Double Speak and Fill Your Hands – the latter with Banbridge rider Stephen Clements aboard the Tony Martin trained runner.
The winning trainer said: "We thought he would run a big race here on Monday but everything went wrong. The false start upset him but he actually ran well.
"I was a bit nervous the ground had changed, but we had great hopes for him. I'd say he's too good a jumper to go hurdling – he might go chasing straight away."