Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

McNamara and Bates at the double

Jockeys Andrew McNamara and Declan Bates enjoyed a double apiece at Clonmel's meeting.

Conditional rider Bates was the first to grab two winners on the evening when Hidden Diamond took the Beginners Chase.

With the final two fences being omitted due to the sun it meant a long run to the line, and that suited Maria Kelly's 9-1 chance well, as he responded superbly to Bates' urgings to reel in Headford Flyer and score by half a length.

Kelly said of the winner: "He was very consistent last year when he was only out of the money once. He deserved to win and was coming up against well-handicapped horses last year.

"He was crying out for better ground all winter, and I only have him and two Flat fillies in at the moment."

Bates' good day began when Philip Rothwell's Mount Welcome (9-2) proved a length and a half too strong for Carlowsantana in the Handicap Hurdle.

McNamara, who has had plenty to celebrate having got engaged early this week, got his brace started when Saint Gervais justified odds-on favouritism with a tidy success in the Maiden Hurdle.

Celestial Prospect made his bid for home early, but McNamara had that move covered on the 4-7 chance, and they pulled clear after the second last to win by four and a half lengths.

Winning trainer John Kiely said, "He deserved that. He was a nice horse last summer but wasn't his best on winter ground. I'm pleased with that win especially for the owners."

McNamara followed up with victory in the Handicap Chase aboard 7-1 chance D's Trix.


From Belfast Telegraph