Downpatrick Races Draws Excellent Summer Crowd

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At the Family Fun Raceday on Wednesday 13th July at Downpatrick Racecourse, there was an excellent turnout in support of the meeting and a good variety of horses from across Ireland and the North.

Jockey JJ Slevin is enjoying a busman’s holiday in Ireland and landed the opener at Downpatrick yesterday writes Joe Kavanagh.

Punters mill around the bookies checking out the prices for the horses.
Punters mill around the bookies checking out the prices for the horses.

The jockey, normally based in Britain with Nigel Twistor-Davies, is currently working for Joseph O’Brien and partnered the John Paul Brennan-trained Our Brian to success when finishing best having only been sixth over the penultimate flight while Man Of Conquest which led over the last filled second

A representative of the trainer said: “JJ knows him well… he’s only a small horse and bit hyper. He ran at Wexford but it was too far and the ground was against him – the drop back in distance suited and he wants good ground. JJ’s on fire at present – we were lucky to get him!”

Master Of Verse set off in front and attempted to make all the running in the novice hurdle, however, teenage jockey, Jack Kennedy delivered the Gordon Elliott-trained Carrig Cathal with a perfectly timed challenge to lead in the shadow of the winning post

The winning trainer said: ” He’s a tough horse and could go to the Galway Festival for a novice hurdle. The winner carried the colours made famous by Doran’s Pride being also owned by Tom Doran.

Blessed King provided trainer Elliott, owner Doran and jockey Jack Kennedy with a double on the day when very easily winning the maiden hurdle. Elliott said: ” He was entitled to do that – he’s been a bit disappointing of late. I’ll look for something similar.”

LuckyMc jumps over the last hurdle with Genesta (right) who rode on to win the race.
LuckyMc jumps over the last hurdle with Genesta (right) who rode on to win the race.

Luck Mc and Genesta fought out the finish in The Probably The Best Family Fun Day Ever Mare’s Maiden Hurdle with the later prevailing for mother and son Mags and Danny Mullins. The winning trainer said: “The owner Gerard Mullins lives beside me and we’ll keep her going. She deserved that win as she’s gone close before. He’ll probably breed from her next year.”

The Shane Nolan-trained L’Attesa challenged three wide on the downhill run to lead over the last and readily repelled the challenge of favourite Magnetic Force in the closing stages. A spokesman for the winning Red, Green White syndicate which comprises eleven members from England and Ireland said: ” He might go for a flat race at Galway and could come back here to run over fences next time.”

L’Attesa riden by Ian McCarthy gallops on towards the home straight to win The Meet Your Friends Here Handicap Hurdle for four year olds.
L’Attesa ridden by Ian McCarthy gallops on towards the home straight to win The Meet Your Friends Here Handicap Hurdle for four year olds.

Heavy rain fell as the penultimate race got underway. But this was unnoticed by Brien Kane riding Scenic Star to victory for his boss and trainer Gavin Cromwell from Meath relegating favourite Jack Slade trained by Noel Meade to second spot.

Kane said just after the race: “He’s not the easiest of rides and is a bit hit and miss, but I got a dream ride today and he jumped like a buck. I’m full-time with Gavin and that was my 14th winner for him.”

Punters favourite female jockey Nina Carberry again claimed the concluding bumper when seen to excellent advantage coming from last to first to win on Westinmare supplying top trainer at the course Gordon Elliott with a treble. The County Meath trainer said: “Westinmare came on a lot from her last run. It’s a great win for locals. We’ll probably go jumping a hurdle with her, I wouldn’t say we would go for another bumper. She’s honest.”

Indian Reel (left) much fancied, clears the last hurdle with Thepremierbroker in the Joe Rea Memorial Maiden Hurdle.
Indian Reel (left) much fancied, clears the last hurdle with Thepremierbroker in the Joe Rea Memorial Maiden Hurdle.