Belfast Telegraph

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Fairytale return for Berry

Fran Berry was the happiest man in Dundalk as he ended his enforced absence from the saddle with a double on his first comeback rides at the all-weather track.

The leading jockey suffered a badly broken ankle in an accident at Tokyo racecourse last November and has been on the sidelines for over four months.

Second for much of the way on Fairy Wing (7-2) in the Irish News Against The Breeze Rated Race, he drove Jessie Harrington's charge past long-time leader Rocky's Pride close home to grab the prize by a neck.

The trainer said: "It's great to get Fran back with a winner. That horse is a bit of a monkey and was looking at the other one in the straight. However, there could be a bit of improvement in him yet and he's in a handicap at Leopardstown on Wednesday."

Berry doubled up when his other mount, the Vincent Ward-trained Regal Tramp (6-1), led approaching the final furlong in the Irish News Club Call Handicap and forged clear by a length and a half.

The money came for Queenscliff in the Irish News Boot Room Handicap and the David Wachman-trained filly obliged in the hands of Wayne Lordan, who secured the title of top jockey in the winter series in the process.

Sent off the 5-2 favourite despite showing little in three maidens, she was driven into the lead in the final furlong and ran on strongly to beat Samollie by two and three-quarter lengths.

Niall McCullagh landed the feature Irish News Red Hand Top Tips Race on outsider Timeless Call (14-1) after leading all the way and holding enough in reserve to resist Katla by a length and three-quarters.

Winning trainer Reggie Roberts said: "We fancied her and she was 25-1 this morning! She could go for a Listed race in a few weeks' time over six furlongs, as long as the ground is suitable - she wants fast ground."

The Irish News Neville Ring Punters Guide Rated Race went to Billy Lee on Solid Air (10-1), giving Eddie Lynam the winter series trainer's title. Lee also landed a double, scoring on Ken Condon's Keep It Cool (14-1) in the Irish News Hitting The Target Handicap.


From Belfast Telegraph