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Classy Manomine homes in to triumph

 

Flying start: Gordon Elliott won opener at Downpatrick with Batts Rock
Flying start: Gordon Elliott won opener at Downpatrick with Batts Rock

By Ron McKnight

Daragh O'Keefe gave Manomine an enterprising ride to supply a local winner when making all in the Adare Manor Hurdle at Downpatrick last night.

Trained by Keith Watson at Armagh, the winner always travelled well at the head of affairs to gain a repeat success at the venue.

Watson said: "We knew he liked it around here and it is horses for courses especially around here. He was different class and he seems to be enjoying himself. Whatever Kate Kelly did in that Punchestown charity race, we have to thank her!"

Canadian Steel proved a decisive winner of the handicap chase for Draperstown handler Noel Kelly.

Maureen's Star attempted to make all but was readily overhauled with Canadian Steel, partnered by Jodie McGarvey, leading at the penultimate fence for a straightforward success.

Kelly said: "He was just a bit unlucky the last day. He came here today and he had a run under his belt and we fancied him. He was in good enough form."

Top Downpatrick amateur Declan Lavery prevailed on Hi Murphy to win the hunter chase.

Hi Murphy, trained by Cabra-based Sean McParlan, was prominent but, having been headed, rallied after the last to score, supplying the third local winner.

McParlan quipped: "He's for sale if someone comes with a fat purse!"

Gordon Elliott claimed the first race with Batts Rock, Davy Russell aboard.

The runner-up, Ificudiwud, was always prominent but Batts Rock was an eye catcher on the downhill run with top jockey Russell waiting until after the last before asserting.

Elliott said: "He deserves to win, he has been knocking on the door a while. It's great for Valerie and Noel (Moran) - they sponsor the yard and have a good few horses with us so it's nice for them to get a nice winner."

Trainer Jessica Harrington, having landed the first race at the Curragh, registered a double when Thegoaheadman - partnered by Robbie Power - claimed the handicap hurdle.

The Harrington runner improved to lead at the penultimate flight and held the determined challenge of the locally-trained Dynamic Allen on the run to the line.

Power said: "We didn't go very quick and I was anxious from the top of the hill (that) I wanted to get them on the stretch because he stays well, and he quickened up well down the hill. I knew he would stay well up the hill."

Pat's Pearl made a winning debut over fences in the beginners chase for trainer John McConnell and jockey Ryan Treacy.

Treacy said: "She jumps well. We were lucky going out on the last circuit - she slipped on the bend. It would normally have knocked the confidence in any horse but it didn't seem to affect her."

Trainer Joseph O'Brien got on the scoreboard when Centaur, with Tom Hamilton in the saddle, outpointed Global Society in the finale.

Siskin put up a smart display as he followed up his debut success at Naas two weeks ago by taking Listed honours in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh.

The Ger Lyons-trained colt, owned by Khalid Abdullah, forged clear in the final half-furlong to land the spoils, after all five runners were in with a chance at the business end.

King Neptune, one of three from the Aidan O'Brien stable, set the pace with Harpocrates and Siskin close up in a tightly-packed field. When asked for an effort by Colin Keane, the 11-8 favourite found plenty to win going away by two and a half lengths from King Neptune.

Lyons said: "I'd love to tell you how difficult it is to train him and how brilliant I am, but it's push button stuff when you have horses like this."

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