IT was a seriously bad weather day at Tyrella as the wind, rain and cool temperatures added up to make conditions very unpleasant for spectators, jockeys and the horses. With strong gusts sweeping across the field, there was no doubt that some of the horses were quite unsettled and off form, making picking that elusive winner all the more difficult writes Joe Kavanagh.[caption id="attachment_46987" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Newry horse South Circle jumps at the last fence but falls, missing a chance to challenge to the final post.[/caption]
But despite the weather, and the last minute inspection, the East Down Hunt succeeded in staging their point-to-point at Tyrella at the third attempt on Saturday. It was certainly very soft yet Newry rider, Jason McKeown took the riding honours when recording a double. The local rider landed the opener aboard Patsy’s Benefit when left clear as South Circle fell in the last fence with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle. (Newry horse Archview Sunshine also took a tumble on the last at the same time making for an exciting opener at Tyrella).[caption id="attachment_46988" align="alignleft" width="370"] Clear and safe: Double Scores in action at Tyrella in the second race heading for the winning post.[/caption]
The rider completed his brace at the venue when Lusey Rocks denied favourite, Ballybrack Dancer in the mares maiden making a better jump at the last fence assuring victory. Former Ulster Region Champion rider, Ben Crawford registered an easy success in the geldings maiden on Double Scores trained by his brother, Stuart who also supplied the runner-up, Jay Are. The winner always travelling best while favourite Belmount with Irish Champion rider, Derek O’Connor aboard pulled up three from home.
Kerrib Castle confirmed his recent form when runner-up in a Downpatrick Hunterchase when landing the winners contest for Portadown father and son team, Stephen and Michael Mc Conville, the winner being always prominent and winning with a degree of ease for the Portadown pair whose small team have hit form in recent weeks.[caption id="attachment_46989" align="alignright" width="370"] Kerrib Castle, left, puts on a spurt to outstrip Chosen Dream in the MJM Winners of Two.[/caption]
The Last Derby made all the running to justify favouritism in the open race to record his fourth victory for Derrylin handler, David Christie, and readily holding the late challenge of runner-up, Long Strand. The Fermanagh-based trainer who headed the point-to-point handlers table at the end of last year advised: “ I am delighted the local circuit finally got going again. I will keep him (The Last Derby) going mixing open races and hunter-chasing during the rest of the season.”
Ballymena trainer, Ian Ferguson claimed the last of the day with Bridge End, owned by the trainer’s wife Jane and son, Paul. This win provided stable jockey, William Thompson with another winner bringing his tally for the season to seven. Bridge End improved from his two efforts to date and with the manner of success should be capable of adding to his tally in the coming weeks. The Cullybackey-based trainer said: “ He did that nicely and I will look for a winner’s race for him next.”
PIctured at the meeting was trainer Stephen Magee, whose well-known father, trainer Joe Magee passed away last year. Stephen, a pharmacist in Downpatrick by profession, pursues his passion in keeping up a long family tradition of training horses going back to his grandfather. He took over the license from his father. His sister Joanne was helping out on the day. In the third race, News for Pascal owned by Cathal McGovern, was a hopeful, but the horse pulled up in the third lap. Last week at the Kirkistown P2P meeting, Stephen enjoyed his first win as a trainer, a year to the day his father died. At the Tyrella meeting he had three horses entered from his stable.[caption id="attachment_46990" align="aligncenter" width="550"] From left, Cathal Mc Govern, owner of Galway Plate winner, Ballyholland, Liam Mc Philemy, trainer, with Joanne and her brother Steven Magee from Strangford at the East Down point-to-point meeting.[/caption] FIRST RACE – sponsored by Albert Bartlett 1st Patsy’s Benefit [Jason Mc Keown] 7/1, 2nd Lady Wilton Milan 3rd The Bosses Sister Dist – ½ 16 ran [caption id="attachment_46992" align="alignright" width="370"] There was nowhere to hide from the wind and the rain at the P2P at Tyrella.[/caption] SECOND RACE – sponsored by Tattersalls Ireland 1st Double Score [Ben Crawford] 5/1 2nd Jay Are 3rd Five For Fifteen 4 – 10 14 ran THIRD RACE – sponsored by MJM Interior Build 1st Kerrib Castle [ Michael Mc Conville] 6/1 2nd Chosen Dream 3rd Waltz Legend 10 – 15 14 ran FOURTH RACE – sponsored by Armstrong Auctions 1st The Last Derby [Barry O’Neill] 6/4 fav 2nd Long Strand 3rd The Snuffler 1 – 10 8 ran FIFTH RACE – for the Major O’Reilly Memorial 1st Lusey Rocks [Jason Mc Keown] 10/1 2nd Ballybrack Dancer 3rd Emmas Rainbow 2 – head 13 ran SIXTH RACE sponsored by FS Herron (Animal Feed merchant) 1st Bridge End [ William Thompson] 14/1 2nd Golanzine 3rd Clondaw Island 1 – 2 16 ran ]]>