A trip to Galway is planned for Construct following his all-the-way hurdle debut success in the Tony Patterson Sports ground Maiden Hurdle in Downpatrick yesterday. Another winner for in-form John McConnell, the 81-rated flat performer, started 11/4 joint-favourite and, enterprisingly-ridden by Donie McInerney, proved too strong for Steel Cap and Guttural, prompting McConnell to comment, “It’s a good effort to go out and make all first time over hurdles.
“He likes that summer ground and, while we won’t over-race him we’ll keep him going for now before he gets a break. I’d say he might end up in Galway, on the Monday.”
Front-running tactics also paid dividends in the three-runner Plus2Print Remembering Tony Oakes Hurdle as Avenir D’une Vie, trained for Gigginstown House Stud by Henry de Bromhead, made every post a winning post to outpoint fellow 6/5 joint-favourite Lethal Steps by two lengths.
They grey, beaten by subsequent winner Ming Dynasty at Kilbeggan last time, was ridden by Rachael Blackmore, who said:
He deserved that. His jumping was good and slick and he did it well in the end.
Another long-distance traveller, Inishbel, trained in County Wexford by Colin Bowe, proved best in the Irish Jockeys In Support Of Downpatrick Racecourse Maiden Hurdle, forging clear early on the run-in before holding Hello Pilgrim by five lengths.
And Bowe stated: “She jumps very well and will stay further. Bryan (winning rider Bryan Cooper) said we should go straight for a chase with her.”
Red-hot Gavin Cromwell, on the mark at Sligo and Perth on Sunday, made it 16 winners in the last two weeks when 5/4 favourite Peaches And Cream, confidently handled by Jonathan Moore, who admitted, “I probably got there a bit soon, but I knew he stayed well”, bolted-up in the North Down Marquees Handicap Hurdle, recouping losses incurred at Down Royal last time.
The five-year-old, which took command at the last before skipping clear to score by 14 lengths, holds an entry at Killarney on Thursday.
A well-beaten third at Sligo on Sunday, when reverting to hurdling, the Noel Kelly-trained Canadian Steel (Conor Orr) made it 13th-time-lucky over the smaller obstacles when making a quick reappearance to land the 80-102 handicap hurdle at the expense of top-weight and dual course winner King Of Aran.
And, having enjoyed no luck with his nine runners earlier on the card, Gordon Elliott landed the bumper, the Two N & M’s Flat Race, when debutante Saint Or Sinner got up on the line, under a strong ride from Jamie Codd, to deny John Ryan’s Mystery Stowaway.