Meade hails O'Hare after Royal success
Banbridge jockey Mark O'Hare maintained his excellent strike rate in his new association with trainer Noel Meade when winning the bumper aboard Jerandme at Down Royal yesterday.
The well bred newcomer ran second until asserting in the straight. O'Hare was winning his third bumper of the month.
Meade said: "He was very green. He stays really well and I thought this better ground would suit him. I'd imagine we might try a winners' bumper with him.
"Mark has struck very lucky with us. That's his fourth or fifth bumper winner for us. He's been doing nothing wrong. He has fitted in very well. It's the right place at the right time.
"It has worked out well and he's a lovely lad. He has so much experience."
Elsewhere, the well-supported favourite Canardier - trained by Dermot McLaughlin and partnered by Andrew Lynch - proved the easy winner of the opener when beating locally-trained pair Curious Times and Colwinston.
McLaughlin said: "(Lynch) said he loved that ground. We were waiting on that ground all year. We might look for a nice novice and step him up in trip."
Lynch quickly doubled up aboard Ejayteekay, the combination content to track the leaders prior to shooting to the front before the final flight and repelling all challengers.
Winning trainer Gavin Cromwell said: "Better ground helped her. She jumped better but probably got to the front a bit soon."
Moonshine Bay made hard work of winning the three-mile Conditions Hurdle for trainer Jessica Harrington. Robbie Power's mount was last for most of the race but eventually proved the clear winner as the front-running Tourboy faded rapidly.
Kate Harrington, representing her mother, said: "He made hard work of that but he got the job done. He'll probably head to the field now and go chasing next autumn. He's only going to improve over the winter with a summer grass under his belt."
Peace News duly claimed the Beginners' Chase for trainer Henry de Bromhead. However, credit must go to three-time champion jockey Davy Russell, who gave the winner a masterful ride to score after Stowaway Forever had attempted to make all.
The locally-owned Drumconnor Lad landed the feature chase for trainer Adrian Keatley and Roger Loughran.
The winner, owned by Armagh-based David Keys, tracked the leaders and disputed the lead before asserting after the final fence. Loughran said: "He's a proper horse in his own right. Once he warmed to it after three or four fences and started travelling, I was able to push on. I knew it would take a good one to get by me from the third last. He's improving."
The Jim Dreaper-trained Sizing Rome was produced late by Lisa O'Neill to claim the Hunterchase. Local pair Eddie's Miracle and Clondaw Frisby went head-to-head at the front but Sizing Rome scored easily at the line.
O'Neill said: "He has really come to himself and the better ground helped. He was long at the last but it was probably the winning of the race."