Mr Flowers goes out in a blaze of glory

VETERAN chaser Mr Flowers ended his career in a blaze of glory when landing the €25,000 Daily Mirror Handicap Chase at Down Royal yesterday.

The fourteen-year-old has been trained throughout his career by Suzy Barkley, who is now based in nearby Donaghcloney, and was recording his fourth success.

The long story of Mr Flowers' career ended on a fitting high when he fought off the attentions of Bravery to triumph by three lengths, prompting his trainer to comment: “I've had him since the start. I broke him and have trained him all the time and he has been a great servant. In some ways, he has been unlucky. But he's been an odd horse all his life.”

Mr Flowers, enterprisingly ridden here by Tommy Treacy, has retained his enthusiasm for racing and proved a great money-spinner for the five-member Black Cat Syndicate, which includes his trainer.

Champion trainer Noel Meade and Denis O'Regan, who got off the mark for the new season with Cavalla Classico at Gowran on Sunday, followed-up when New Zealand importation Foreign Seas beat Theboyfrombulawayo in the Governors Cup Beginners Chase.

Meade explained: "Eamonn Cleary sent me four horses from New Zealand. But they were all very sick last October. I don't think I've ever seen horses as sick. And it has taken this long for Foreign Seas to come right. He'll probably go for a handicap now.”

Trainer John Shearman registered his first win in a year when the Roger Loughran-ridden Macs Bet won the opening Pat O'Hare Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle, being left clear when his nearest pursuer More Sport crashed at the second last.

Amateur Robbie Hennessy, the lad who looks after dual Champion Hurdle winner Hardy Eustace in Dessie Hughes' yard, enjoyed his third racecourse success when partnering Forest Leaves to victory in the McConville Comnstruction Ltd. Amateur Maiden Hurdle.

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