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Title pointer as champion-elect hits the 200 winners Mark

By Ron McKnight

Banbridge rider Mark O'Hare is on course to win this year's Northern Region Champion Rider title, 10 years after sharing the accolade.

The local rider is enjoying his best ever season with 21 winners to his credit and is destined to land the Ulster title for the second time later this month with current champion Noel McParlan having a total of 10 winners this term.

O'Hare reached a landmark on Saturday when bringing his career total to 200 winners between the flags at the Mid Antrim point to point at Broughshane, Ballymena when claiming the final race of the day on Step Back for Lisburn trainer George Stewart.

He has also formed a successful association with Dixie Lee, trained by Dermot McLoughlin, and followed up Down Royal success when travelling to Limerick to claim another bumper on the talented mare. Dixie Lee is owned by Draperstown based PJ Conway who was doubling up for the week having seen his El Grande win at Down Royal's May Day fixture last Monday.

O'Hare said: "I was thrilled to share the championship 10 years ago with Derek O'Connor. I'll be even more delighted to win the title outright - it seems a long time ago since I won the title and I'll appreciate the feat even more this time round."

The Banbridge rider and his wife, Sarah, recently started a family with a baby daughter, Penny, and the baby already has a healthy savings account with her father having promised a donation for each winner he rides.

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