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Sarah hails jolly Roger's surprise win at Down Royal

By Ron McKnight

Sarah Dawson supplied a shock winner of the SCA Group Handicap Hurdle at her local course when Degenerous made all the running to score with a delighted Roger Loughran in the saddle.

The Dromore-trained 20-1 shot kept on gamely to triumph at Down Royal's Musgrave Retailers Race Night.

Dawson said: "I'm so pleased for everyone involved. I have retired a few of my old handicappers and have a new batch coming through.

"I thought there might be no pace so told Roger to go to the front and leave no petrol in the tank.

"I was a bit worried about the ground but she handled it well - she will be better again over fences. She's had no luck in running in recent starts due to no fault of her own. She's a very genuine mare."

Kildare trainer Jessica Harrington maintained her excellent strike record at Down Royal when landing the opener with Lake Champlain, Robbie Power in the saddle.

Power said: "I was left in front a lot sooner than I wanted. She put her head down and went about her business when the others came to me.

"I was never really worried and she jumped the last great.

"Jessie's horses are in great form at present."

Harrington and Power quickly completed a double when claiming the second contest with Flavianna.

Power added: "She ran well at Cork but has been running too free. She dug deep and toughed it out. She's only learning to race - a strong-run two miles will suit."

Meath trainer Tony Martin supplied the first two home in the featured Kerry Foods Rated Hurdle when Cassells Rock beat stable companion Pires, winner of the race last year.

Shane Shortall partnered Rock On Rosie to victory in the handicap hurdle.

Little Mich, trained by Yvonne Latta, proved the game winner of the Tayto Hurdle with Mark Walsh aboard.

Local connections doubled up when Cottersrock claimed the bumper for Banbridge trainer Gerry Cosgrave.

The winner was partnered by Ulster champion point to point rider Noel McParlan.

Cosgrave said: "I had a slight worry about the ground but he's a very nice horse and will make up into a chaser. He would be for sale now."

Belfast Telegraph


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