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Gainford salutes his best Buddy at Downpatrick



Jordan Gainford

Jordan Gainford

Getty Images

Jordan Gainford

The opening feature race at Downpatrick was somewhat disappointing following Bebulben Boy's withdrawal, however Denise Foster's other runner – Buddy Rick, with Jordan Gainford aboard – defied drifting from 6/4 to 4/1 to triumph.

While just five went to post, Rock Court initially refused to race and was always detached from the other four runners. Odds-on favourite Marajman was beaten before the last, finishing third behind Gladiatorial.

Gainford said: “He’s going the right way and stuck at it well. That’s his ground and he’s a summer jumper. I always felt I was getting there. He’s a massive horse and a big cruising speed and will be one to look forward to over fences.”

Grangeclare Native (8s to 18/1) completed a double for the Cullentra team under an ultra-enterprising ride from conditional jockey Gainford.

Grangeclare Native made every yard and readily held off late challenges to prove a convincing winner.

Gainford added: “He was running a great race the last day in Down Royal and slipped and we got unlucky as the race was over quickly. He put it all together there today.”

The Cullentra stable completed a hat-trick when Gris Majeur (10s to 11/4) was the impressive winner of the concluding bumper, partnered by Jamie Codd.

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Gris Majeur, fitted with a first-time hood, carried the familiar colours of leading Ballyclare owner and producer Wilson Dennison to victory and could prove above average.

The mares’ hurdle produced a major shock as 50/1 chance Hidden Land, on her hurdles debut, scored easily for trainer Andrew Kinirons and jockey Luke Dempsey.

Kinirons said: “She has been schooling since February. She has been competitive on the Flat, she was only beaten a short head in a big field at Leopardstown. She was running well on the Flat so we kept there but she has been schooling in between.”

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