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Crosse brothers at Down Royal double


Home straight: Isabeau crosses the line first at Down Royal
Home straight: Isabeau crosses the line first at Down Royal

By Ron McKnight

Brothers Nathan and Shane Crosse both rode doubles at Down Royal last night.

Nathan was triumphant aboard Black Martini and Polly Douglas, while younger sibling Shane won on Shakespear'sgalley and A Wave Of The Sea.

Isabeau made a winning debut in the opener for trainer Michael O'Callaghan and jockey Leigh Roche.

Isabeau broke smartly and was always in command, while eventual runner-up Tinkerbells Effect had to be pulled wide to get a run in the closing stages.

O'Callaghan said: "We put the blinkers on her because she wasn't doing a stroke at home.

"I thought I would give her a run and educate her. I learned here before that you need to break well and you need a bit of experience and if you don't have experience a bit of headgear goes a long way up here."

Black Martini, trained by Willie McCreery, claimed the sprint handicap, with Nathan Crosse tracking the leaders until shooting clear at the furlong marker, while the second and well supported Inflorescence was trapped on the rail until pulling wide and running on strongly late.

McCreery said: "She's owned by lovely people, Barouche Stud, and I'm delighted to get the first winner for them this year. She's a small, little filly - she only weighs 400 kilos but she has a big heart."

Crosse registered a quick double when landing the sprint for apprentice riders on Polly Douglas, trained by Kieran Cotter - the winner yet again pulled off the rail to challenge in the closing stages.

Cotter said: "I saw (Crosse) riding Willie's horse (Black Martini) and that's exactly how I wanted him to ride her.

"She is going to be covered next week by Buratino - there's a (50-80) handicap at the Curragh and we will wait for that."

Shane Crosse, younger brother of Nathan, also got on the scoreboard when easily scoring on Shakespear'sgalley for trainer Joseph O'Brien.

The winner, favourite from the off, led at the top of the hill and was always in command.

Crosse said: "He's probably a proper two miler and we went slow, which didn't suit, and I got a gap kind of five (furlongs) out which was a bit soon, but I had to take it because I needed to kick on because he stays well. To be fair to him he is very genuine."

Crosse Jr matched his brother when supplying Joseph O'Brien with a double as A Wave Of The Sea led before the downhill run and kept on resolutely to score.

O'Brien's assistant trainer Brendan Powell, who rode the locally bred Rhyme N Reason to win the 1988 Aintree Grand National, said: "Joseph said 'make use of him'. It was only his third run and he is taking on handicappers, but he will probably be a mile and a half, a mile and six horse in the long run.

"Shane (Crosse) is a lovely rider. I've only really noticed him since I've come over."

The Dermot McLoughlin trained Monaco Rose gave a game front running display to win the feature for fillies with apprentice Andrew Slattery in the saddle.

Monaco Rose won with ease, while favourite Great White Shark flattered to deceive.

McLoughlin said: "It's only her second run for us. The owner bought her at the sales and didn't pay dear for her."

The Michael Mulvany trained Latoyah Of North, with Gary Carroll aboard, won the finale.

Canadian Steel rewarded Draperstown trainer Noel Kelly when recording back to back victories in the handicap chase at Tramore last night.

Belfast Telegraph


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