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Drumhart provides another win at Downpatrick for McBratney

By Ron McKnight

Drumhart provided a local victory at Downpatrick yesterday when gaining a repeat course success for Crossgar trainer Colin McBratney and jockey Sean Flanagan.

The winner is owned by Comber-based duo James Murdoch Jnr and Andrew Pearson and had won at the course on his penultimate start.

Drumhart tracked the leaders including stable companion Abbey Lane prior to the penultimate fence before jumping into the lead at the last and winning in good style.

The Crossgar trainer who won the Galway Plate in 2009 with Ballyholland said: "It was a peach of a ride. We did a palate operation on him.

"The last day we ran him in Punchestown the ground was too fast for him, he just didn't let himself down.

"Horses for courses - he's a big horse and he loves it around here. Maybe with his wind he can travel and gets more breath as he can freewheel down the hill. I'm well pleased.

"We'll look at a nice handicap somewhere. The Blazers [Galway Festival] would suit him but who knows? He has to go up a long way before we get to the Galway Plate stage.

"He's still a novice too so we have options."

Racing got under way when Lake Malwai, partnered by Luke Dempsey, prevailed over runner-up Atlantic Breaker in the opener after a duel from the last with the winner always holding the advantage.

Theatre One had attempted to make all the running but having been headed when beaten slipped up after the final flight.

Gordon Elliott, leading trainer at the track said: "On his run the last day in Punchestown he was probably entitled to do it. He wasn't doing a whole lot when he got there.

"He'll go to Perth for a novice hurdle at the end of the month. Luke gave him a good ride. He's a very good rider."

Floral Fantasy, owned by JP McManus and trained by Enda Bolger, was given a very confident ride by Mark Walsh to claim the most valuable race of the day when winning the mares handicap hurdle.

The winner always travelled easily and headed the front-running Mystic Princess prior to the penultimate flight where joint favourite Josephine Marcus fell when attempting to challenge although the winner looked superior to rivals at all stages and appears capable of better.

Walsh said: "She was entitled to that as she had been running in good enough maidens. It wasn't the strongest race so I wouldn't be getting too excited."

Ger Fox was stood down for the remainder of the meeting following his fall from Josephine Marcus with a possible ligament injury to his thumb.

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