Northgate romps to impressive success in Plate

NORTHGATE, ridden by champion jockey Pat Smullen, romped to an impressive victory in Her Majesty’s Plate, feature of yesterday’s action at Down Royal.

A welcome winner for trainer Joe Murphy (his last winner was Rock On Ciara at Killarney in mid-July) the six-year-old, sent off 2/1 co-favourite, stretched clear in the closing stages to slam End Of The Affair (having her final outing) by eight and a half lengths.

’He must have a sound surface, that’s the key to him,” admitted the winning trainer. “That’s why he likes Dundalk and he’ll be going back there at the end of the month for the Group 3 Diamond Stakes.

“We’ve schooled him at home and he jumps brilliantly. So he could make a lovely hurdler later on.”

Ger Lyons was on the mark again when Mount Meru, ridden by Keagan Latham, landed the L K Bennett Nursery at the expense of Haseen, the Red Clubs gelding clearly helped by first-time blinkers as his trainer explained. “His only bad run was in soft ground in Roscommon. Keagan is a top-class rider and gave him a great ride.

“We tried blinkers on this horse today and I think they made a man of him He’s another that will be running in Dundalk.”

First-time blinkers also worked the oracle on five-race maiden Bogini, which opened his account when making all under Michael Hussey in the opening House Of Fraser 2-Y-0 Maiden.

Bogini is trained for Kerry owner Michael O’Callaghan by Tracy Collins, who said: ‘We put the blinkers on to help her concentrate but she has been consistent and deserved a change of luck. With a low draw, the obvious thing to do was to jump and go.”

The Stewards decided the outcome of the Lunn’s 2-Y-0 Claiming Race, disqualifying the Kevin Prendergast-trained debutante Sleepytimegirl in favour of the Paul Deegan trained, Conor Hoban ridden Le Rouge Alex.

Declan McDonogh, in the drive position, switched Sleepytimegirl left soon after the two-furlong pole, pushing Taking Chances and Le Rouge Alex wide. Having stretched clear inside the final furlong, McDonogh’s mount held the fast-finishing Le Rouge Alex by a diminishing neck.

The Stewards, believing that the interference had made the difference, reversed the placings and suspended for McDonogh for one race-day for ‘careless riding’.

Golan Guy, whose only previous success was recorded in a maiden hurdle on the track in May, opened his flat account when getting the better of Mutiska in the Cruise Ulster Cesarewitch.

The six-year-old, ridden to victory by Seamus Heffernan, will “mix it” according to successful trainer Tony Martin.

The Andy Oliver trained Just On Fire, ridden by Ben Curtis, bolted up in the seven-furlong Mimco Handicap, prompting his trainer to suggest: “He enjoys his racing and should have more improvement in him,”

Dessie Hughes’ versatile filly Sun Disc, winner of a maiden hurdle on this track last time, proved an equally convincing winner of the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, drawing clear under Mark Enright to beat gambled-on The Drunken Dr by five and a half lengths. Hughes reflected: “I’d say the last flat winner I had for John (owner John Purfield) was Dellersbeck, which won the Lincoln for Wally Swinburn. I think it was 1981!”

*Apprentice Ronan Whelan was suspended for two race days when found guilty of careless riding on Constant Charmer in the Mimco Handicap.

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