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Meade eyeing Fairyhouse after Downpatrick victory

 

By Ron McKnight

Joey Sasa was the facile winner of the feature race at Downpatrick.

The defection of two runners saw only a trio go to post with the favourite facing two Michael O'Leary-owned runners, but the Noel Meade-trained Joey Sasa - with Jonathan Moore in the saddle - proved a class act for connections.

Meade said: "We'll probably go for one of those good handicaps. The ground is usually very heavy at Ascot for their big handicap hurdle so it's unlikely he will go there. It's more likely he will go to Fairyhouse."

Out Of Loop took victory in the opener for owner JP McManus and trainer Christy Roche.

The victor was content to track the leading pair but hit the front before the last with Mark Walsh aboard, and denied the Ruby Walsh-partnered odds-on favourite Sympa Des Flos.

Walsh said: "He has improved from his last run. They went a good gallop and it suited him.

"He jumped great and I got there easily at the second last."

Jockey Jack Kennedy kept it simple when making all to win on Monkshood for trainer Gordon Elliott.

Elliott said: "He's a nice horse. We have plenty of horses backed up to run in maiden hurdles so we said we better start running a few. He's a big chaser in the making and will be a grand horse."

Elliott and Kennedy quickly doubled up when Poormans Hill completed a hat-trick of wins in the long distance handicap.

Elliott said: "It was a poor race and he just about won. He has won three races so job done. I wouldn't say he is a winter horse, if we get another race out of him it would be job done."

Canny Tom stayed on best in the closing stages to land the beginners chase with Keith Donoghue in the saddle to give Elliott a treble.

The Dessie McDonagh-trained Alterno showed his liking for the local track when recording a repeat success with Ger Fox aboard.

The Elliott-trained Boudry, supported from 5/1 to 9/4 favourite, could only manage fifth.

McDonagh said: "He loves to be in charge and (Fox) gave him a super ride. I was confident. He likes it here and if you like it here you have a chance of going again."

Father and son Pat and Luke Dempsey combined to win the last race of the year at the track with Dinnie's Vinnie, which kept on best in the closing stages.

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