Downpatrick jockey Danny McMenamin is on the way up with an excellent win at Aintree.
Aintree on Sunday saw Downpatrick jockey Danny McMenamin land the Grade 2 Monet Gardens Chase on the Ann Hamilton-trained Nuts Well (18/1) which despite shouldering top weight finished best late in the testing conditions to claim the feature writes Joe Kavanagh
The winning 68-year old trainer and her husband/owner, Ian, are cattle farmers from Northumberland and it is certainly a day they’ll not forget with the nine-year-old providing them with a first win at Graded level.
Ann Hamilton said:” It means the world to win a race like that and it was so exciting, seeing him coming home. We’ve just got six horses and this is our biggest win. It’s special being here at Aintree.”
There have been some fallow spells, like the six consecutive seasons in the 1990s when their stable had not a single winner. But it was worth it for well-remembered days like the one in April 2003, when Divet Hill won the Fox Hunters over the Grand National fences, despite his jockey’s breeches splitting at the rear as they cleared The Chair” A thrilled Hamilton said: “It’s always been a lucky place for us at Aintree. Absolutely brilliant.
But he was not tempted by the thought of trying Nuts Well over the famous green fences here, in a race like the Topham Chase in the spring. “He’s not very big, you know. We wouldn’t put him over the big ‘uns,” added Anne.
The twenty-year old rider who hit the headlines when winning the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on the Brian Ellison-trained Nietzsche two years ago is based with trainer Nicky Richards. Danny brought his tally this term to ten winners and the conditional jockey has now just a 3lbs claim.
Check out an interview with Danny McMenamin on: