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Elliott to the four on a day of high drama

By Ron McKnight

Gordon Elliott claimed the training honours with a stunning 350-1 four-timer as a large crowd was treated to excellent Boxing Day racing, including several photo finishes and a few major gambles.

The top handler kicked off in the opener when Sutton Manor landed the beginners chase, surviving a stewards enquiry to supply champion amateur Jamie Codd with the first leg of a double and the Gigginstown team with a 1-2 in the race.

Codd said: "It's tough going out there."

Minellafordollars, with Donal McInerney aboard, prevailed by a nose over Derrinross to claim the EBF Hurdle.

The winning jockey said: "He's a nice horse with a bright future. He kept going on the soft ground. I thought I might have been nicked after the line so I was glad to see the result!"

The Silks Hurdle was another photo finish, with Stooshie scoring by a neck from favourite Judgement Day - completing the Codd double.

Winning Kildare-based owner John Doyle said: "Gordon (Elliott) reckoned he would be there or thereabouts. He toughed it out very well and put his head down at the finish."

Elliott's great day was completed when Cubomania, partnered by Eric Roche, stayed on best in the closing stages to snatch victory in the Adare Manor Hurdle.

Roche (19) said: "That's my first winner for the boss. My brother (jockey Leigh Roche) showed me the ropes and taught me."

The jockey added: "He came into the straight and I could feel a whole new horse underneath me. Then I thought, 'I could win this!' I'm buzzing!"

Nina Carberry was another in double form. The top amateur landed the hunter chase on favourite Gilgamboa after leading at the penultimate fence and holding off the challenge of runner-up Venitien De Mai.

"He travelled very well the whole way and he jumped brilliantly. He's still probably holding a little bit for himself. Hopefully he can go again - he seems to have a little spark back. He'll have to go up again in grade but he couldn't have done it any better," she said.

Carberry completed her double aboard Brace Yourself, trained by Noel Meade.

Meade said: "We bought him from (Ballyclare based) Warren Ewing at the Cheltenham Sales. He recommended him very highly and he was right.

"We did one piece of work with him, and Jonny Moore rode him and said he would be hard to beat wherever he goes.

"We were going to go to Leopardstown with him and then his owner decided he wasn't going to go racing today, so we said we would bring him up here. Nina (Carberry) liked him and he seemed to do it well - he's a racehorse anyway."

Belfast Telegraph


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