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Hamilton thrilled as winless streak ended at Downpatrick

 

By Ron McKnight

Jimmy Two Times supplied a local victory when he produced a strong performance to land the Beginners' Chase at Downpatrick.

It was trainer Brian Hamilton's first winner since the same meeting last year.

Hamilton said: "That was an easy opportunity for him - he needs to go right-handed. There aren't many opportunities for him in the next month.

"He may go to Galway, I think there's a race for him there at the end of September. I think if there's a graded race we might look at running there.

"This race was ideal for him, it was a good place to start off."

Odds-on favourite Didero Vallis looked in trouble in the opening race as the French import was hard ridden three from home.

However, Ruby Walsh got the required response and, after flying the final flight, scored for trainer Willie Mullins on his Irish debut.

Walsh said: "He lacked a bit of experience but he stayed well. It's always good when they are doing their best work at the end."

Walsh doubled up in the third race aboard Small World when he pounced at the last to head Tranquil Magic, who had made all the running in a bid to follow up a recent course success.

Walsh said: "They went very hard - I was never confident. They capitulated and let me win well."

Former champion jockey Davy Russell gave Alterno a masterful ride to record a facile victory in the handicap hurdle.

Russell waited in third for most of the race as Personal Shopper, having been joint leader, assumed pole position two from home only for Alterno to canter into the lead at the final hurdle.

The winner is trained by Dessie McDonagh for owner Jim Bolger.

McDonagh said: "This is one of my favourite tracks from the very beginning back to the '70s. I was leading trainer here for two or three years in the '70s.

"I rode my first winner here in 1969. I beat Richard Dunwoody's father in a hurdle - imagine!

"The horse duly knew more than I did and pulled up after the winning post and I fell off over his head. I got back up and it was grand."

Gordon Elliott supplied a 1-2 in the maiden hurdle when Polymath ran well to provide Jack Kennedy with his first winner since returning from a fractured left leg, with Masterson the runner-up.

Caerleon Kate, who had been supported from 10s overnight to 11/4 joint favourite, parted company with jockey Paul Townend at the first flight after colliding into the back of another runner in the race.

But winning trainer Elliott said: "Listen, a winner is a winner.

"The winner (Polymath) is going to the Sales so he'll be grand and the other horse (Masterson) wants a bit better ground."

Meanwhile, William Du Berlais, who was partnered by Mark Walsh, rewarded trainer Enda Bolger's trip from Limerick when he proved the very easy winner of the handicap chase.

The Dermot Weld-trained Days Without End, who had Finny Maguire aboard him, impressed when coming from last to first to claim the finale in spectacular fashion.

Belfast Telegraph

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