First double for veteran trainer Ross

VETERAN trainer Cecil Ross savoured the first double of his training career when favourites Lisrenny Lady and Son Of My Heart, both ridden by Robbie Colgan, landed the opening maiden hurdles at Sligo last night.

Ross, who is based outside Mullingar, recalled a double achieved by his late father, with Another Pooka (which he rode himself) and Imperial View at Fairyhouse in the late 70’s, and admitted: “We came here, hoping for the best, with two horses with chances and, miraculously, it came off.”

Normally a front-runner, Lisrenny Lady, owned by the Molloy family from Ballymahon, County Longford, chased the leaders throughout. Her proven stamina saw her come through to collar Killtilane Rose on the run-in before drawing clear to beat fast-finishing Some Say by four and a half lengths.

The winning trainer said: “I was a bit worried running her back and going right-handed. She won despite hanging all the way and is a better mare going the other way. I might give her two weeks in a field and get her ready for Bellewstown.”

Son Of My Heart completed the Ross/Colgan double when recording an impressive eight lengths win over Estrela Brage in the Maiden Hurdle.

A delighted Ross said: “He came off the flat in England, where he had a busy campaign.

“He’s a lovely big horse and is only coming to himself. He needs an ease in the ground and won’t run on firm. He’ll stay three miles and might go for a handicap in Bellewstown.”

Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden shared the riding honours with Colgan, completing a double on 25/1 shot Highdownhill for his trainer/father and namesake and following-up on the Harry Rogers-trained Tin Town Boy in the Corner House Bar Ballymote Handicap Hurdle.

A New Zealand-bred Montjeu gelding, Highdownhill produced a vastly-improved performance to come from of the pace and beat the flattering Heavenly Bound in the Ladies Day 4th August At Slkigo Handicap Hurdle.

Trainer Madden commented: “That’s great. He’s been very disappointing, but it was probably a cruel race. They went very fast and he kept going. This has been a lucky place for me over the years.”

‘Slippers’ completed his double on first reserve Tin Town Boy in the other handicap hurdle, the Harry Rogers-trained gelding taking full advantage of the 19lb. from gallant runner-up Kaprun, having his first run in two years.

Rogers said: “Slippers was very good on him. I warned him that the ground would be too soft for the horse and he held onto him all day. This horse hasn’t won in almost two years, but he’s been a great servant. We’ll probably mix it with this fellow for the summer.”

Noel Kelly, based in Draperstown, County Derry, saddled recent point-to-point winner Charlie’s Vic to land a tidy morning gamble in the bumper.

The daughter of Old Vic, another winner for in-form Nina Carberry, got the better of 50/1 shot Karuska to justify 7/4 favouritism, prompting Kelly to explain: “We gambled by running her again within ten days of winning her point-to-point. But she had an easy race at Necarne and has a bit of toe.”

Make My Night, owned, trained and bred by Eddie Cawley and ridden by Alain Cawley (no relation) came from well off the pace to wear down front-running Madame Mado in the Benbulben Mares Handicap Hurdle.

A delighted Cawley stated: “It’s grand when it happens and this a nice pot to get. She’s a tough little mare, just like her mother, and stays well. She might go to Listowel in two weeks time for a three-mile handicap.”

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