Thrills And Spills At Downpatrick Racecourse


Folly Dat trained by Keith Watson at Armagh made all the running to claim the Coors Hurdle.  A stewards enquiry was called as the Andrew Ring partnered winner appeared to hamper runner-up Shine In Dubai in the closing stages but after deliberations the result stood.  Watson said:  “She didn’t run terribly badly in Listowel.  Just she kicked hurdles out of the ground. I don’t think she likes the traditional hurdles. She is what she is and this is her grade” writes Joe Kavanagh. 

Folly Dat leads up the home straight with Shine in Dubai in second place on his heels. A stewards inquiry over interference by Folly Dat ensued by was waived by the stewards.

The going was altered to ‘yielding’ after the initial races.  The handicap hurdle was not without incidents. The leader Humps and Bumps fell three from home, and Maighnealta backed from 20/1 had claims when a very bad mistake at the penultimate flight saw Andrew Lynch’s mount soon last which allowed Lleyton to head the new leader Blue Skimmer at the last only to be overhauled late by the Tom Mc Court trained Muroor with Conor Maxwell in the saddle in the final hundred yards. Drama followed post-race with dual stewards enquiries when the original winner was disqualified due incorrect weight when weighing in and the placings were revised  with  Lleyton awarded the race supplying Barry Geraghty with a winner for trainer Jimmy Finn.  Lusis Naturea was promoted to third place

Prior to the disqualification of his winner Muroor, trainer Tom McCourt had  said: “We might have a look for something in Tramore next weekend. Those tracks suit him well. Any claiming races over a trip on the Flat we will probably look at as well.”

Muroor was disqualified after finishing first in the AJC Group Newcastle Handicap Hurdle on a technical issue ridden by Conor Maxwell.

Mother and son duo, Mags and Danny Mullins combined to land the opener at the Downpatrick meeting with Augusta Gold.  The mare runner up on both recent starts had life made easier when Perfect In Pink unseated her rider at the final flight having just been headed by the winner.  Trainer Willie Mullins said: “She still has to go out and do it – she’s genuine and she’s a super galloper, she gallops and gallops. She runs well every day and she’s a lovely mare. I’m delighted.  I’d say when she sees a fence she will be better.  There’s plenty of scope for fences.”

Babbling Stream ran out the easy winner of the feature hurdle.  The winner ran second for most of the race before leading prior to the last and asserting giving claiming rider, Hugh Morgan back-to-back victories on the Henry De Bromhead trained runner.  The well supported favourite Cartwright was last for most of race and blundered at the last when attempting to improve.  Morgan said:  “He got my first winner on the board and he was brilliant there today. He was jumping well so that’s why I sent him on.  It’s great especially for Mr O’Byrne (owner) as he’s a close friend of my family.”

Mill Quest powers her way up the home straight to win the Birthday Greetings Mares Handicap Hurdle ahead of Filly Mullins ridden by Danny Mullins.

The locally trained, Samsara established a long lead in the mares handicap but rapidly came back to the field two from home where the Gordon Elliott-trained Mill Quest lead with champion jockey Davy Russell aboard and went on to record an easy success. Gordon Elliott said: “She keeps winning. On her run in Galway she was entitled to win this.  I’d say we’ll probably be going jumping fences sooner rather than later.”

The ex-French Eclat des Mottes made a winning Irish debut for Champion trainer, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in the maiden hurdle – the winner sitting second until asserting at the final flight.  Walsh said “He did it well and liked the ground.”  The Champion trainer doubled up when Rebel Og with Patrick Mullins aboard made an impressive winning debut in the bumper with favourite, Neptune finishing runner up having been pushed along from halfway.

Eclat Des Mottes made an excellent finish from the last hurdle ridden by Ruby Walsh to win the Jim Devine Concert Maiden Hurdle in front of Present in Court jockeyed by Davy Russell.




The Stewards enquired into possible interference in the closing stages of this race involving Lleyton, ridden by B.J. Geraghty, placed second and Blue Skimmer, ridden by L.A. McKenna, placed third, where it appeared that Blue Skimmer ran short of room and checked. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards took no further action pending an enquiry into the winning rider failing to weigh in at the correct weight.

The Stewards received a report from Ms C. Murphy , Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Clerk of the Scales, regarding the fact that Conor. D. Maxwell , rider of Muroor (GB), placed first, weighed out exactly 165.4 lbs and weighed in at 163.8 lbs, this being 1.2 lbs underweight. Ms. C. Murphy confirmed these weights during this enquiry. T.G. McCourt, trainer, stated that he saddled the horse with the saddle, non-slip pad, lead cloth and girths as weighed out. Evidence was heard from the rider, C.D. Maxwell, who stated that he handed over all equipment to T.G McCourt as already stated and was unable to explain the discrepancies. Having considered the evidence, the Stewards used their powers under Rule 231 and disqualified Muroor from first place. In view of the evidence the Stewards did not apportion blame to any person and therefore took no further action.

The result [of the AJC Group Newcastle handicap Hurdle] now reads:

1st Lleyton

2nd Blue Skimmer

3rd Lusis Naturea

4th Ciaoifsin

5th Maighnealta.

Molson Coors H’cap H’dle

The Stewards enquired into possible interference in the closing stages of this race involving Folly Dat, ridden by A. Ring, placed first and Shine In Dubai, ridden by D.E. Mullins, placed second, where it appeared that Shine in Dubai ran short of room on the rails and checked. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards made no alteration to the Judge’s placings, however were of the opinion that A. Ring was in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden carelessly, and having considered his clean record in this regard suspended him for one race day.