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Spoils shared at Down Royal

By Ron McKnight

Last night's feature Ulster Cesarewitch at Down Royal produced a thrilling finish, with a dead heat declared between Whiteout and He'll Be Remembered.

Whiteout travelled easily for jockey Declan McDonagh on the downhill run and led on the straight, though He'll Be Remembered fought back under apprentice Tom 'Socks' Madden to share the spoils and take his first victory on the flat for trainer Paul Fahy.

Whiteout, a multiple winner over hurdles for Champion Jumps trainer Willie Mullins, went off joint-favourite on his first flat start for the trainer.

The other joint-favourite, Encrypted Message, finished third without really threatening.

Racing got under way with Go Kart, partnered by Robbie Downey, proving the easy winner of the opening two-year-old maiden over the minimum trip, with Anania fading to finish fourth and third-placed Jenniechild encountering traffic problems in the closing stages.

Winning trainer Patrick Prendergast said: "The drop back in trip suited. She had them beaten in Navan after five furlongs. I had to get her out soon as there aren't many five furlong races left and she is a quick ground filly. She is still learning and could go to Dundalk."

Roc Of Gold looked set to score in the two-year-old maiden having made all the running, until a three-way finish developed close to the line with Ms Brinkleys, trained by Jessica Harrington and with jockey Fran Berry on board, winning by a short head with Remarkable Lady taking the runner-up slot and Roc Of Gold having to settle for third, a neck in arrears.

Trainer David Wachman supplied the first and third in the Nursery handicap when Flirt, with Gary Halpin in the saddle, held the strong challenge of Fair Game with the winner's stable companion, Fire Tree, filling third.

Halpin doubled up when Waterford trainer Pat Flynn supplied the first two home in the seven furlong handicap with veteran Knights Templar beating his younger stablemate Twistandturns, with Easy Boy coming home in third.

In the EBF maiden, Downforce - trained by Willie Mc Creery and with McDonagh in the saddle - was a clear winner, challenging wide at the elbow two furlongs from home for a snug victory.

McDonagh said: "I was always travelling easily. He's a nice horse and Willie liked him before. He travelled well and took off when I pulled him out."

The Apprentice Handicap produced another thrilling finish with Scenic Star rallying to get back up at the line.

Scenic Star is trained at Navan by Gavin Cromwell - a farrier by trade - and jockey Gary Philips used his experience to good advantage.

The result was one for the bookmakers with the first three home 25/1 chances. Cromwell said: "That was a nice surprise. He ran well at the Curragh last time considering he got loose before the race.

"He'll go for something similar and Dundalk is all-weather over the winter."

Belfast Telegraph


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