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Rocky decks rivals to complete Billy's brilliant hat-trick

By Ron McKnight

Published 10/09/2016

Treble yell: Billy Lee completes a superb 275-1 hat-trick on the night by steering Gusty Rocky to victory in the Down Royal feature race, the West Coast Cooler Fashion Week Ulster Cesarewitch
Treble yell: Billy Lee completes a superb 275-1 hat-trick on the night by steering Gusty Rocky to victory in the Down Royal feature race, the West Coast Cooler Fashion Week Ulster Cesarewitch

Gusty Rocky triumphed in the Ulster Cesarewitch to provide jockey Billy Lee with a stunning 275-1 treble.

Gusty Rocky - tipped in yesterday's Belfast Telegraph - always travelled easily in the feature and went clear entering the straight.

The hat-trick hero jockey said of the Pat Flynn-trained winner: "It's been a good day and I was hoping for a good run from this fella.

"He's a very straightforward horse. He had good form over hurdles. We just crept away and he did it nicely."

Lee completed his double on board Modern Tutor, a second career winner for Tyrone handler Nicole McKenna, step daughter of local trainer James Lambe.

McKenna said: "I'm delighted. He's been crying out for soft ground and finally we got it.

"Hopefully he can pick up another one."

Modern Tutor is owned by Richie Behan from Armagh - a very familiar figure on Irish racecourses.

Racing got under way with a shock when Childhood, in the Godolphin colours, denied odds-on favourite Hunaina, relegated to runner-up for the fourth successive time.

Lee delivered Childhood - morning price 10/1 into 7/2 - on the line to score by a neck.

Trainer Willie Mc Creery said: "That was the plan - to arrive late. She disappointed me last time but quickened well in the last hundred yards. I'll look for a premier handicap over six furlongs possibly next time."

Accalia shot clear at the elbow into the straight and soon had the EBF Maiden in safe keeping although Waitaki ran on strongly to be only a neck in arrears.

Partnered by Colin Keane, the winner is trained by John Hayden who said: "She was due that. She needs to settle but has a lot of toe. That's as soft as she wants and I'll look at the Joe McGrath sprint over five furlongs at the Curragh if the ground is right."

Keane doubled up when scoring easily on Twist Of Magic for trainer Johnny Feane, who said: "She has lots of ability and should win again. We put the eye shield on as she has been a bit keen."

Top jockey Chris Hayes appeared to be at his brilliant best when winning on 40/1 shot Trevana, flashing home to prevail by a neck on her debut but the talented rider said: "That was probably the worst ride I ever gave a horse! Everywhere I went the doors closed.

"The boss (Kevin Prendergast) has always liked her and had given me instructions to do as I liked. She's a decent filly and at least I'll be welcome at the yard after that!"

In the Apprentice Handicap, the photo finish print could not separate Rolanna - ridden by Killian Leonard - and Tempo Mac, partnered by Donagh O'Connor.

Belfast Telegraph

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