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Facebook buy scores with a winning post

 

By Ron McKnight

Brian Hamilton, who trains beside the track, claimed the opener at Downpatrick yesterday when Hillary John, a horse bought on Facebook, made all the running to score with Gavin Sheehan rewarded for the trip from Britain .

The winner, owned by the Up The Hoops syndicate, had won a Fermanagh point to point last time and was backed from 20/1 to 8/1.

Hamilton said: "He works quite well at home and won his point-to-point well. The boys bought him from Eddie Ahern off Facebook.

"We got him for a young lad in the yard to ride and school on but the young fellow hasn't got a licence yet so we ran him in a point-to-point. His jumping was a bit dodgy though, so we thought there was no point in running him back in a point-to-point.

"The reason Gavin Sheehan rode him is that the head of the syndicate, Paul Burns, works in Clive Cox's in England and is born and bred in Downpatrick. Gavin is friendly with them over in Lambourn."

Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver doubled the score for local trainers when Touched By An Angel provided the Caledon-based handler with a 1-2 in the Coors Hurdle with 25/1 shot Go Guarantor finishing runner up to his better fancied stable companion (25/1 to 10/1) with Andrew Lynch aboard the winner.

Oliver said. "It went well and he loves that ground and loves the track. He's a handy horse with a good attitude. Andrew Lynch knows him well and said we would just try and be positive and we rode him as we said we would. It worked out perfectly."

Victoria Bay, with Sean Flanagan on board, took the second race after Tin Town Liz slipped on landing at the hurdle after the straight and made the rest of the running to score easily.

Flanagan said: "When Conor Maxwell (on Tin Town Liz) slipped on the bend, I was left there way too soon. She's better on better ground. She's a grand mare and has a really nice pedigree and will be a nice mare to jump a fence."

Turbo and Ravenhill dominated the maiden hurdle from flag fall. Turbo had made all the running stalked by his rival only to throw the race away when screwing over the final flight allowing champion jockey Davy Russell to shoot up the inside and take advantage to win.

Elliott said: "The owners are from all over Northern Ireland so it's great for them to get a winner. Turbo probably made it a bit easier when he made a mistake at the last but in fairness Ravenhill wasn't beaten."

Elliott and Russell quickly doubled up when Count Simon, carrying the Templepatrick based Sloan family colours, was produced after the last to record a very easy win in the rated novice hurdle.

Elliott said: "Davy's lucky for me. He doesn't do much wrong anyway! It's great for the Sloans who are big supporters of the yard."

Elliott completed a hat trick at the fixture when Carrie Des Champs, with Lisa O'Neill on board, won the finale, beating stable companion Melior.

Killiney Court, partnered by Dylan Robinson, made all to register a repeat course victory in the handicap hurdle with Waterford trainer Henry De Bromhead also suppling the fourth placed King Of Brega.

Delighted jockey Robinson said afterwards: "He loved that, just lobbing away out in front. He likes it here - he won here before. It's nice to get his confidence back."

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