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JJ enjoys his busman's holiday in Downpatrick

By Ron McKnight

Jockey JJ Slevin is enjoying a busman's holiday in Ireland and landed the opener at Downpatrick yesterday on board Our Brian.

The rider normally based in Britain with Nigel Twiston-Davies is currently working for Joseph O'Brien and partnered the John Paul Brennan-trained horse to success after finishing strongly, having only been sixth over the penultimate flight, while Man Of Conquest which led over the last took second.

A representative of the trainer said: "JJ knows him well - he's only a small horse and bit hyper. He ran at Wexford but it was too far and the ground was against him - the drop back in distance suited and he wants good ground. JJ's on fire at present - we were lucky to get him!"

Master Of Verse set off in front and attempted to make all the running in the novice hurdle. However, teenage jockey Jack Kennedy delivered the Gordon Elliott-trained Carrig Cathal with a perfectly timed challenge to lead in the shadow of the winning post.

The winning trainer said: "He's a tough horse - he could go to the Galway Festival for a novice hurdle.

"The winner carried the colours made famous by Dorans Pride being also owned by Tom Doran."

Blessed King provided trainer, Elliott, owner Doran and jockey Jack Kennedy with a double on the day when very easily winning the maiden hurdle.

Elliott said: "He was entitled to do that - he's been a bit disappointing of late.

"I'll look for something similar."

Luck Mc and Genesta fought out the finish of the mares hurdle with the later prevailing for mother and son - Mags and Danny Mullins.

The winning trainer said: "The owner lives beside me - we'll keep her going - and she deserved that win as she's gone close before.

"The owner [Gerard Mullins] will probably breed from her next year."

The Shane Nolan trained L'Attesa challenged three wide on the downhill run to lead over the last and readily repelled the challenge of favourite, Magnetic Force in the closing stages.

A spokesman for the winning Red, Green White syndicate, which comprises 11 members from England and Ireland, said: "He might go for a flat race at Galway and could come back here to run over fences next time."

Heavy rain fell as the penultimate race got under way but went unnoticed by Brien Kane who partnered Scenic Star to victory for his boss trainer, Gavin Cromwell, relegating favourite, Jack Slade into second place.

Kane said: "He's not the easiest of rides - a bit hit and miss - but I got a dream ride today and he jumped like a buck.

"I'm full-time with Gavin and that was my 14th winner for him."

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