Le Leopard stretches clear to complete hat-trick

LE LEOPARD is proving a tremendous money-spinner for the Dermot Weld stable this summer and completed a fine hat-trick in the Eastwood Bookmakers.Com Race at Downpatrick yesterday.

Ridden by apprentice Shane Gorey, the six-year-old followed up victories at Wexford and Tramore, dictating the pace throughout and stretching clear in the final furlong to see off market rival Do The Trick by of seven lengths.

Jawad, successful twice over hurdles in recent weeks, reverted successfully to the flat when landing the Heart Of Down Ulster Cesarewitch for in-form trainer Joanna Morgan.

Under a confident ride by Michael Hussey, Jawad kept a wide berth throughout the race before tackling Strides Of Fire and drawing clear for an emphatic win.

Billy Lee, out of luck on Strides of Fire, enjoyed better fortune in the following Fosters Lager Handicap when the enigmatic Pillar Rock, trained by Charlie Swan, recorded an emphatic victory.

Hide The Evidence, trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by claimer Andrew Leigh, recorded a popular success for local owner Maynard Hamilton when justifying favouritism in the Fran Murrin Memorial Maiden Hurdle while Grange Melody captured the Eastwood Handicap Hurdle under Shay Barry, despite hanging violently left close home. He survived the subsequent Stewards inquiry.

Owner Bill Durkan, who savoured his first Group One success at the Curragh on Sunday, had his colours carried to victory in the Willie Murphy Maiden Hurdle by Miss Ailbhe. This filly was ridden to victory by Denis O’Regan for Curragh trainer Michael Halford, who was in double form at Tralee yesterday.

Champion amateur Nina Carberry recorded her ninth success of the season when odds-on favourite Eureka Stockade, trained by Micky Flynn scored a runaway win in the Bumper, gaining compensation for two narrow defeats at the track in recent months.

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