Downpatrick trainer Brian Hamilton has had winners at various places but never at his home course until yesterday when Mister Lucky finished strongly to win the Britvic Handicap Chase from Tully Cross.
Mister Lucky was a chance ride for Barry Geraghty because Paddy Flood who was to have ridden Mr Lucky was taken ill with a viral infection.
Hamilton said" the last winner I trained was at Down Royal on St Patricks Day. I have waited a long time for a success at Downpatrick although I have ridden many winners here"
Mr Lucky continued the Ulster connection for he is owned by Andrew Wishart from Saintfield and James Murdoch from Comber. Hamilton told me "The previous owner Denis Reddan said after Galway that he would sell the horse at the sales but I stepped in and bought Mr Lucky for Andrew and James"
James is the son of the famous North Down Hunt member "Rancher"Murdoch who was tragically killed on the night of the clubs point to point a few years ago.
Geraghty went on to win the beginners chase on Window of Hope trained by Tom Taaffe. Taaffe said" it was worth coming up for this success"
Omagh trainer Mervyn Torrens scored in one of the big races of the day with Dancera who had been second in the Ulster Oaks at Down Royal.
Yesterday’s win was in the Tayto Derrinstown Apprentice Handicap. Dancera was up front for most of the trip before just getting up in a hectic finish from Mythical Prince. There was only a neck in it and Dancera gave her all to hold on.
Torrens said " she will go to the Down Royal Festival next month and will run in a mares Grade 3 hurdle. She travelled well up the final hill. I train all my horses on a hill.”
The Big Picture gave Edward O'Grady victory in the opening Miaden Hurdle and O'Grady was unlucky not to make it a double when Killenaule Boy was caught in the last stride by Ouste in the Beginners Chase.
"They should move the winning post," said a dejected O'Grady afterwards"