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Report | Portrush 19th October 2019

Having attracted an entry of 39 horses, the Dennison Commercials Ltd four-year-old maiden at Portrush resulted in the first divide of the new point-to-point season.

The successful partnership of Donnchadh Doyle and Rob James were on the mark once again when claiming the opening division of that contest with Press Your Luck. 

“He is in good form at home and he jumps well and straight.  He had a bit of experience so we made the most out of it.  I thought he was going well enough in Tralee and he has strengthened up a good bit over the summer,” said Rob James.
“He is a grand horse and will plenty of staying chases.  He will go to the sales now.’”

Stephen Connor was off to good start for his new employers Colin McKeever and Wilson Dennison when landing division two aboard newcomer Ballyadam. 

The son of Imperial Monarch showed an excellent turned of foot when quickening clear in the closing stages for a four-length victory over Bold Enough.

“He is a really lovely horse and has shown us loads every day at home.  He tipped around in a schooling race last Tuesday at Moira.  Stephen rode him and thought he was a little free but I said he won’t be free in a four-year-old maiden!” said McKeever, having also praised the winning rider who joined him ahead of the new season.

It was an emotional winner for Northern handler David Christie who witnessed his charge Eddies Miracle run out a four-length winner of the Royal Court Hotel open lightweight in the hands of Barry O’Neill.

“I am quite emotional, that horse means everything to me and I nearly lost him in November with a fractured pelvis. I have never been so nervous coming back because you never know what could happen.

“I took him down to Ger Kelly in Fethard, he said he had never seen a fracture like it. I never thought I would see him come back like this. He is a very good horse who has so much class he is unbelievable.  He would have hated that ground. We are just going to enjoy it,” said Christie.
Some Man followed up on his recent victory at Toomebridge when claiming the Cunningham Covers winner-of-three, providing owner Ray Nicholas, handler David Christie and jockey Rob James with a double on the day.

David Christie said: “I am delighted as he is a really good horse.  We are bringing him along and looking after him.

“Rob said he hated that tacky ground there. At Toomebridge it was soft and wet and he could get through it. Everyone who has ridden him says he wants soft ground. But I have always thought he needs nice ground.
“We will push on and when the maiden hunter chases come along we will look at them.”

Denis Murphy made the long journey from Enniscorthy worthwhile when winning the O’Connor, Kennedy & Turtle and Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings’ maiden with Hard Ground.

Denis Murphy said: “That was nice for Alan Harte, I thought he was a bit unlucky at Kinsale.
“He is grand horse and you would imagine he should win plenty in England in bumpers and over hurdles.  He will go to the sales next.”

Timber Tang Girl made her experience count when running out a three and a half-length winner of the Drenagh Sawmills five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden for the father and son combination of Sean and Noel McParlan.

Sean McParlan said: “The ground was seriously against her at Toomebridge but she still ran well on it. She ran a blinder there and will probably go to the sales now as she is very well-bred.”

Noel McParlan was back in the winner’s enclosure when taking the concluding W. Oliver Exorna Ltd six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden aboard the Meryn Torrens-trained Back To Bataan.

Previously placed over hurdles at Sligo during the summer, he took full advantage of his chief rival, The Bolder Boy, making a mistake at the last to win by two lengths.

“That ground would have been too sticky for him.  He has had his wind done and Noel said he was making a noise in that ground. The ground is going to be key for him,” said Torrens.
“He will go to Loughanmore next week and  hopefully getting his head in front will do his confidence the world of good.”

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