Downpatrick Race Meeting Enjoys The Sunshine

Horse racing in Downpatrick draws the crowds at the evening meeting

Downpatrick Racecourse,

Evening Race Meeting, Friday 10th May 2024,

Report by Joe Kavanagh,

Photography by Jim Masson / Down News.

The leading trio broke clear of the field four from home and the principal pair alternated in the lead after the last with the John McConnell-trained Kalanisi Flash partnered by Ben Harvey denying odds favourite Big Stage by a neck at the line in the first race at Downpatrick last night writes Joe Kavanagh.

Trainer Mc Connell said: “That’s why we put him away at the end of last year to wait for better ground. He had been in good form at home.

Kalanishi Flash 0n the outside breaks past Big Stage in the opener at Downpatrick. (Photos by Jim Masson/Down News ©).

“Obviously, I thought we might have been running for second or third today, but he has run well.  He is probably going to be a chaser really. We’ll see what we do with him, he might have a run in a novice hurdle.

“He’ll be going chasing as well.  He stays well so we didn’t want to let it turn into a sprint. At the same time, he doesn’t do much when he hits the front and he didn’t do much there.”

Quite Incredible with Patrick O’Brien aboard won the Davidson McDonnell Handicap Hurdle.

In the second race, the Davidson McDonnell handicap Hurdle, Quiet Incredible trained by Dermot Mc Laughlin with Patrick O’Brien aboard led at the second last and kept on gamely to repel the strong challenge of Dinoland close home in the handicap hurdle. The winner was supported from 33s to 11/1.  

Mc Laughlin said: “He stayed at it well. He (PadyO’Brien) said he travelled well and finished out the race well.  

“The better ground and cheek pieces combination helped. He was running over the winter and a lot of mine like nice ground. Paddy’s 7lb (claim) is a good seven and it worked out well.”

Check out race photos on Down News Facebook page

The winning owner who works in the yard also owned Irish Grand National winner Freewheel Dylan.

Going Live with Jordan Gainford in the saddle won the Gerry Hannity Lifetime Badgeholder at Downpatrick Racecourse Memorial Maiden Hurdle.

The going after the second race was changed to firm and appeared to suit point-to-point winner Going Live trained by Gordon Elliott in the Gerry Hannity Memorial Hurdle with his son former jockey now a racing television presenter on hand to present the trophy. 

A local success looked likely as Step Out made significant improvement and landed in front over the last only to be out-battled in the straight by Jordan Gainford on the winner, Going Live.

Ian ‘Buster’ Amond representing the trainer said: “ I’m not sure what’s next – Jason said he was always handy and travelled well on the ground and they went a good gallop.

“He was always confident of winning on the downhill run.   He was bought for chasing and we’ll see how he comes out of tonight. It was an ideal start for him.” 

Redwood Queen ridden by Philip Byrnes (white cap) won the mares’ handicap hurdle.

Not May appeared set for victory in the mares’ handicap hurdle however the strongly supported Redwood Queen trained by Charles  Byrnes with son Philip steering produced the better speed in the straight to score.

Jockey Keith Donoghue has been enjoying his best ever season so far until a broken thumb ruled him out of action including the Punchestown Festival.

But he bounced back with a dazzling front running display in the handicap chase aboard O’Faolains Glory on her chasing debut and trained by his brother Ian while the runner-up Erigmoor was an eye catcher running on from a long way back to threaten the winner but had to settle for second. 

Keith Donoghue steers O’Faolains Glory to victory in the Paddy Madine Tareesh Memorial Handicap at Downpatrick Racecourse.

Donoghue said: “ She has a good schooling over fences. I thought at the last I would win easy but was glad to see the line at the finish.

“It’s nice to get back with a winner. The break was not so bad… it was the cut on the thumb that was the problem and I needed a piece of wire inserted to keep it stable.”

Check out race photos on Down News Facebook page

The locally trained Welsh Saint made a brave attempt to make all in the Joe Rea three mile handicap chase.

Keith Donoghue collects his double win at Downpatrick on Jump the Shark in the Joe Rea Memorial Handicap Steeplechase.

But after landing in front over the last the JP McManus-owned Jump The Shark trained by Gavin Cromwell and supported from 8s to 15/8  favourite landed a gamble and was able to canter past the post under a hand and heels ride from Keith Donoghue to give the rider who finished third in the jump jockey title championship a double on the night. 

Donoghue said: “   He was a bit slow coming down the hill – he’s a big horse and hopefully will improve again.”

The Philip Dempsey-trained San Risk with the very talented amateur Finny Maguire in the saddle readily beat the favourite Ellen Kelly trained by Champion trainer Willie Mullins in the concluding bumper.

Sansrisk ridden by Finny Maguire moves up front on the inside into the final straight to win the ITBA Celebrating Northern Region award Winners Mares Flat Race.

Check out race photos on Down News Facebook page