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Greenandwhitearmy nets win for thrilled McKnight

First class: Trainer Neil McKnight with Greenandwhitearmy, wife Christine and Ricky Doyle
First class: Trainer Neil McKnight with Greenandwhitearmy, wife Christine and Ricky Doyle

By Ron McKnight

GreenandwhiteArmy supplied a local success in the Handicap Hurdle at Downpatrick.

The winner - second last month at the venue and trained at Loughbrickland by Neil McKnight - got up in the final couple of strides with Ricky Doyle in the saddle.

Runner-up Mr Moondance had appeared set for success but Doyle's determination yielded reward close to the line.

McKnight said: "He's a quirky sort but we were hoping he would get in the money.

"I thought the other horse (Mr Moondance) had got away from him but he battled well up the hill. He's actually better over two miles five furlongs. We'll keep him going and he could come back here for the next meeting."

Jockey Trevor Ryan was seen to excellent advantage when claiming the Giltspur Hurdle on Finding Joy, who is trained in Limerick by Michael Horrigan.

Cappacon was always handy, however Finding Joy finished with a late flourish.

Horrigan said: "I haven't been here for a good few years now.

"When I saw the entries I really had to come. I was leading trainer here for monkeys years. I used to love coming here and I was coming to win 60 quid!"

Knock On Steel looked another to have victory in his grasp only to be foiled by the late surge of Sean Flanagan on the Noel Meade-trained The Red Menace in the Beginners Chase.

The always prominent Wonderoftheworld was third.

Meade said: "He lacks a gear. He took to jumping fences very well at home and we hoped that might give him a little bit extra."

Three Is Coming made a brave attempt to land the Charlie Caldwell Memorial Hurdle, however Cappuccino Man (6s to 11/4) led at the last to win snugly in the hands of Darragh O'Keefe.

That supplied trainer Oliver McKieran with compensation after the defeat of Cappacon in the previous race.

McKiernan said: "He was a horse that had a lot of troubles. With the best will in the world, it was great to win it - it was probably a moderate enough race."

The Handicap Chase saw five in contention in the closing stages, however in a photo finish the Tom McCourt-trained Muroor (16s to 5/1) and jockey Darragh O'Keefe beat the locally-trained I'm An Izz Wizz by a head.

The opener saw the Gordon Elliott-trained Cats For Cash make all to score with Jack Kennedy aboard. The other joint favourite, So Enjoy, was third, the pair separated by Patrick Joseph.

Elliott said: "He has promised more than what he has showed. He has won and that's great. Anything else will be a bonus."

Ya Boy Ya landed the bumper on his course debut. The Colin Bowe runner overhauled Stowaway Sarah to provide James Kenny with his first track success.

Belfast Telegraph


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