The sun shone for Loughbrickland trainer-jockey Jacqui Kidd at a rain lashed Downpatrick yesterday when the The Hedge ended a frustrating series of defeats by winning the Downpatrick Novices Hurdle.
Although The Hedge was ridden by top professional Davie Russell, Jacqui had a hand in the success for she gave Russell a plan of campaign which worked beautifully.
"I told Davie that it would be best to allow The Hedge to make all the running, " Jacqui said.
"It worked like a dream. I have ridden the horse on a number of occasions but have never got any further than second place. It was wonderful to see the way in which Davie brought him home."
Russell said: "Jacqui had ridden the horse so often she knew everything about it and I had only had to follow instructions. There were no problems and The Hedge did it easily."
Those who backed The Hedge were rewarded with a starting price of 20-1 and this success gave Russell a double for he had earlier scored on Loughadarra Dame for Liam Burke.
There was a great deal of fortune with that win for the leader Emotional Melody unseated his jockey Mark Walsh at the last, which allowed Loughadarra Dame to go on and win.
Earlier in the day the Band Wagon which was begun by trainer Gordon Elliott last week continued to roll when the Shepherd scored under Elliott's brother Joey in the opening Maiden Hurdle.
Dermot Weld did not have the best of luck. His Teach Nua was backed favourite for the Novice Hurdle and afterwards winning trainer Mayne Kidd father of Jacqui said: " Its not often you beat a horse from the Dermot Weld stable, in fact that win was my fourth under rules."
The big race of the day, the Ulster Cesarewitch, gave Tipperary jockey Pauline Ryan her first success at Downpatrick when making the running over seven furlongs from home to win at 10-1.
Afterwards Pauline said: “Its nice to get a success at Downpatrick. I had intended to make the running, but Games got in front and eventually I managed to edge him out. After that I set sail for home as best I could."
Second place went to Loughferrid with Inis Ceithleann in third.
Pagan Lightning won the final race to give Katie Walsh her second success as a jockey at Downpatrick. For trainer John McConnell it was especially significant for he had just saddled a winner at Galway which was on at the same time yesterday.
Colm Murphy saddled his first winner at Downpatrick when Aladdins Cave won the Ardglass Handicap Hurdle and Noel Meade was on the mark when Gay Sloane scored under Nena Carberry.