Lambe sees his Dreamer take honours
The complexion of the Win a Diamond Ring Hurdle changed dramatically after the last flight at the Downpatrick Ladies Day fixture yesterday.
The prize looked destined for Co Tyrone as Jabus, which had led throughout, approached the final flight clear for trainer Andy Oliver and Fermanagh claiming jockey Ryan Treacy.
However, Daytime Dreamer, trained at Loughgall by James Lambe, was steadily gaining ground having been held up in the early stages.
As the front runner hit the rising ground, Jabus faded as Daytime Dreamer and Hold En Cowboy challenged, with the former prevailing at the line by three-quarters of a length over the Gordon Elliott horse with the early leader finishing third, 11 lengths back.
Lambe said: “I told Liam (McKenna) to ride him to be placed and he stayed on well. Liam gave him a super ride and the horse loves quick ground.
“I was going to give him a break and will now have to rethink.”
The Ulster trainer also said that stable star Sir Ector, which ran in the Irish St Leger trial on Saturday at the Curragh, would be aimed at the Prix Caduran at Longchamp on Arc Day.
Banbridge trainer Gerry Cosgrave supplied the second local winner of the afternoon when Bahati Boy, under a determined ride from amateur rider Paul Cosgrave overhauled the Mullins-trained Bowfinger close home to score by a neck in the Giltspur Scientific Maiden Hurdle.
The Ulster handler said: “I only have him three to four months and he was a bit hard to handle at starting time. He's better now and learnt to relax.
“I will probably look for a handicap hurdle next but today's going was as quick as he wants. I was a bit worried when he was sweating up beforehand but he was okay.”
Champion trainer Willie Mullins claimed the first race of the day with Dr Schultz, owned by his son Patrick and partnered by his nephew Emmet Mullins. The winner was scoring on his debut over hurdles and readily beat favourite Rossvoss, with Ruby Walsh in the saddle.
The winning rider said: “He is a nice horse and he jumped great for his first time. He missed the third last as he got a bit blinded so I brought him out. He was always in control and I’m delighted with him.”
Ireland's leading jumps owner JP Mc Manus recorded another winner over the Downpatrick course when the Philip Rothwell- trained Bottle Rattler, which won his first race at at the track with Mark Walsh aboard, denied the Elliott-trained Jamsie Hall in the handicap hurdle.
Rothwell said: “I’m delighted with that, I was hoping he would be successful in Sligo and I was a bit disappointed when he wasn’t. We put cheekpieces on him to liven him up a bit and he travelled better today.
Tony Mullins, brother of the champion trainer, claimed the Fran Murrin Memorial Maiden Hurdle in good style with Sam Da Vinci partnered by his son Danny and denying a possible treble for local connections with the Colin McBratney-trained Butney Boy filling second after making most of the running.
Lily of Killarney made most of the running to claim the long distance handicap hurdle and You Can't Catch Me, trained by Kieren Purcell and ridden by Adriane Foley, did likewise in the bumper.