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Rachael sets the standard with battling success

By Ron McKnight

Rachael Blackmore followed up Hayley Turner's historic triumph at Royal Ascot with victory in the opener at Down Royal last night in the two-day Ulster Derby fixture.

Havingagoodtime improved to lead three from home only to be quickly headed by Make My Heart Fly which appeared to be the winner only to crash out at the penultimate hurdle leaving Blackmore clear to score on the Henry De Bromhead-trained Havingagoodtime.

Jack Kennedy, rider of Make My Heart Fly, was stood down for the remainder of the night following his fall.

The Andrew Slattery-trained Convara, with Darragh O'Keefe aboard, got up in a four-way photo finish to spring a 25/1 shock in the maiden hurdle.

Slattery said: "He's a grand horse and he surprised me." 

Goose Man won the big Tote Hurdle and trainer Tom Taaffe said: "He'll have an entry in the Galway Plate - I needed to get a run into him near enough and far enough away. Long-term he could be a National horse." 

Danny Mullins was seen to excellent advantage when making most to score on Party Playboy, trained by his father Tony, in the handicap hurdle. Mullins senior said: "When he goes chasing you will see the proper horse."

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