Belfast Telegraph

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Fancied trainer Gordon Elliott wins, but only once

by Ron McKnight

Downpatrick's family fun fixture attracted a record crowd though pre-race expectations that Gordon Elliott would record multiple winners proved wrong as the County Meath handler went home with just one success.

The Elliott trained Cecil Corbett with Paul Carberry in the saddle easily landed the opening maiden hurdle, cantering into the lead before the last.

Elliott said: "He deserved to win that and won snug enough. I'll look for a novice hurdle next. That would be the plan especially in Britain."

The Bosses Cousin overjumped and fell at the first flight in the one winner hurdle leaving Rae's Creek with Mark Walsh aboard in the lead and the pair thereafter made all the running to win.

The winner was strongly pressed in the closing stages by the Elliott trained Vercingetorix which had run second but Rae's Creek owned by Jessica Harrington prevailed by a neck.

Walsh said: "He did well for only his third run over hurdles - I would have preferred a lead. He's a big galloping horse - He could make it into a "Galway" horse."

Trainer Tony Martin got on the scoreboard to supply a locally owned success with Twenty Four Hours.

The winner is owned by Lisburn based, Thomas Steele, son of the late Tommy Steele, a leading equine vet who received an OBE for his work and brother of Robert - a former top amateur rider.

Paul Townend - a former Irish Champion jump jockey led from halfway and repelled the late challenge of the runner-up, Idee Emery by half a length. Martin said: "We had the choice Killarney or here and the owner being local we opted for this race.

"She's a very well bred mare - a half sister to Living Next Door (Irish Grand National winner). She'll be destined for stud but we might try to win a novice chase with her - she's already a points winner but we want to keep her in one piece."

Gordon Elliott appeared to have secured his second winner of the afternoon as An Capall Mor led three from home and shot into a clear lead on the downhill run.

However, Show And Go, under an inspired ride from Andrew Lynch, overhauled the leader close to the line to score.

Team Elliott again had to settle for second in the long distance hurdle with Ultimate Horseman which, having made most of the running, was joined by Top Of The Town which soon went clear as the early leader rallied near the line.

Townend, who was competing a double said: "He hung a bit and probably needs to go the other direction."

Winning trainer, Charles Bryne said: "He stays and is what he is."

Byrne advised the the winner is named after the pub where the winning syndicate of owners meet.

Albarta gained a repeat success at the Downpatrick course - this time over hurdles for Galway trainer, Val O'Brien and jockey Luke Dempsey to follow up victory at the venue last month.

O'Brien said: "We might have to come back again as he likes this place.

"Luke gave him a brilliant ride. I don't think he would get into the handicaps at Galway."

Elliott for the third successive race had to settle for the runner-up spot.

Belfast Telegraph


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