Co.Down (S) at Loughbrickland on Saturday 11th November 2017.
Two-time winner from last season, Burning Ambition, took his third consecutive victory in the colours of Alexandria Gardner when he won the Saintfield Window Systems Ltd Winners Of Two by five lengths over Adamstown. The Pierce Power-trained son of Scorpion, who finished second on his debut at Ballinaboola in February went on to score at Cragmore and Courtown and was partnered by his usual rider in Rob James on his seasonal reappearance. Winning handler Pierce Power reported: “that was very impressive, and he has done everything so far with ease, we really think a lot of him. I’m very lucky that a few friends have bought into him and have agreed to keep him in the yard this year. He could run in a winners of three or open race before going to the hunter chase at Limerick over Christmas.”
The Wexford trained raiders began the day on a winning note when the Denis Murphy-trained Derby won the Dennison Commercials Ltd four-year-old maiden on what was his second run of the season following his third placed effort at Loughrea in October. The son of Policy Maker who is the fourth winner of Blue Lane, appeared to relish the testing underfoot conditions to win by 12 lengths over the well-bred debutant Rathhill and in doing so produced the fastest time of the day under Jamie Codd. Tom Cloke representing Denis Murphy commented “He got an over-reach the last day and Jamie said he didn’t feel 100 percent, so he took it easy on him. He is a serious horse with plenty of scope. He will probably head to the sales now”.
Front-running tactics were employed by Patrick Dunne aboard the Gordon Elliott-trained Chesapeake in the McIldowies Solicitors five-year-old mares’ maiden to give the young rider his second win of his career. Owned by Elliott’s head lad, Simon McGonagle, Chepsapeake who was purchased for €62,000 at the 2015 Tattersalls Ireland Derby sale, saw off the challenge of Rathbawn Rose by two lengths having had to omit two fences due to the testing ground conditions. A delighted Simon McGonagle commented after the race “She’s a consistent mare and she’s a great jumper. She really loved the conditions today and Paddy gave her a brilliant ride from the front. We will see how she is after today and have a think about where she could go next”.
The biggest cheer of the day came in the R.T.D. Crawford Ltd five-year-old geldings’ maiden when the Stuart Crawford-trained Windsor Avenue justified his favourite tag. The Alan Buchanan-owned and bred gelding was produced to challenge at the last fence by Ben Crawford and quickened well on the run-in to get the better of the Aidan Fitzgerald-trained newcomer Smiths Cross. “He was sick when made his debut at the last day when he disappointed. He’s a lovely horse, jumped great and he really quickened up on the run-in. He will head to the sales now” reported Alan Buchanan on his winning homebred who is a half-brother to the unbeaten Ravenhill Road.
The Noel Kelly-trained Milan Diva improved from her maiden success at Loughanmore in October to score on her first foray in open company in the G2 Environmental Cleaning Services mares open. Tracking Presentingprincess throughout, Noel McParlan challenged at the third last as the pace-setter started to tire and soon led and recorded an easy victory. The long-time leader fell at the last leaving Cee Jay McBride to come home a distant second. Kelly was full of praise for the winning rider commenting “he’s a great jockey and did everything right today. He didn’t want Presentingprincess to far ahead and he challenged at the right time. She did it very easily at the finish. I think we will keep her for open mares’ races”.
It was a momentous day for Kilkenny native Cathal Healy who steered Jetstream Joe to success in the concluding Wilsons Auctions six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden, to record his second career success. Four years since his last success when guiding his own Lady Calta to win at Nenagh in 2013, the winning jockey saw off the challenge of Laces Out by two and-a-half lengths. Jetstream Joe was purchased by winning handler Eoin Doyle for €32,000 at the Derby sale in 2014 and the Beneficial gelding was returning from the track which saw him finish fourth in a bumper behind subsequent three-time winner Impulsive Star.
Winning handler Doyle remarked “he’s a strong horse and stays well, he will improve for the run. I think we will head for a winners’ race next”.
Videographer: Ray Ross
Star Performance: The testing underfoot conditions did not pose any problems for Derby as he powered clear up the home straight run out a convincing 12-length winner.