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Harry races back to winning form with Down Royal success

 

By Ron McKnight

Veteran Ballyclare trainer Harry Smyth recorded his first winner since 2013 when Zagnzig won the handicap hurdle at Down Royal last night, providing a local victory.

The winner, also owned by Smyth, was near last for most of the contest but got up in the closing stages to register an easy win with Andrew Lynch in the saddle.

Smyth said: "He suffered a burst blood vessel on his last outing but he had every chance today. I was confident providing it didn't happen again.

"It's a problem with him but I bought a new plate at £9,500 for him to stand on and it seems to help. He wants good ground.

"He could win again at Downpatrick and we'll keep him going over the summer as he's a summer horse. There's more in him - he'll come on from that."

Local handlers doubled on the night when The White Volcano won the three mile hurdle.

The winner, backed from 28/1 to 16/1, is owned by Armagh based Philip White - a longstanding patron of Cathedral City trainer Woods who said: "I suppose he was crying out for the ground and the trip. He won his point-to-point on good ground.

"Jockey Danny Hand couldn't do the weight - he would usually ride him. Conor Maxwell gave him a great ride. I was hopeful today. He stuck at it well. He has run some nice races over shorter trips. Hopefully he will be out again soon - he wants a galloping track."

The opener supplied a shock result. State Of Nirvana had hit the front and a big leap at the final flight appeared to seal success.

However 33/1 shot One In All In, having chased the leader, produced the better speed in the closing stages to record a short head victory for trainer Henry De Bromhead in a three way finish.

The winner, bought from Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver, supplied Conor Orr (an older brother of Oisin Orr) with his first success in Ireland.

Orr said: "Henry (de Bromhead) wasn't confident but more hopeful that the good ground would be the key to him. He wants it very good to be able to stay the two miles, that helped. I now have seven winners under rules and 11 pointing in the UK."

The second race provided no relief for favourite backers as 14/1 shot Misty Millie, with Danny Hand aboard, came from last to first to win going away.

Winning trainer Garvan Donnelly said: "Danny gave her a lovely ride there. He knows her well and schooled her a lot at home. It was nice for him to sit and bide his time and she has done it well in the end. I'm hoping that she'll be aimed now at Galway."

The Liam Cusack trained Snugsborough Benny, with Denis O'Regan aboard, pounced late to claim the novice chase after Round Tower had attempted to make all.

Cusack said: "We thought he was more of a chaser, he won his point-to-point and he won it well. We were just waiting for a bit of nice ground to run in Ballinrobe and he came on from it. This was a nice opportunity for him.

"First of all I must give credit to the track, they did a great job watering and it is safe ground."

Honest Robber led from flag fall in the handicap chase but it was Fenlon's Hill which asserted in the closing stages, leading at the final fence as the leader faded finishing runner up.

Winning trainer, Paul Stafford said: "I was a little bit surprised. We thought after his first run in Leopardstown he should have progressed but he didn't - we put it down to ground.

"I travel a lot to the north of England so he might go there to Perth in Scotland or Hexham."

Leading trainer Gordon Elliott scored an across the card double with Moratorium winning the bumper and Kuraka winning at Leopardstown.

Belfast Telegraph

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