Denis O’Regan gets off the mark for Barry Connell

Denis O’Regan rode his first winner since becoming retained rider to owner Barry Connell when Hurricane Darwin landed the Monty’s Pass beginners Chase in Down Royal yesterday.

A last fence faller, when clear, on his chasing debut in Thurles, the six-year-old travelled strongly for O’Regan before coming through to master front-running Mick Thonic for a convincing six lengths success.

The winning rider suggested: “He’s still a bit green but is learning on the job,” while trainer Alan Fleming added: “He’s done plenty of schooling since his fall and jumped well today. Barry has found a two mile, six furlong ‘winners’ of one for him in Killarney and that’s where he’ll go.”

Bryan Hayes made a successful return to action, following an eight-week absence (due to a fractured pelvis) when Kilkishen, trained by John ‘Shark’ Hanlon stayed on dourly to beat Danielle’s Journey in the Belfast Live Hurdle.

“It was a good pot and that’s his trip,” said Hanlon. “He’ll be a nice horse for the summer on proper summer ground. I’m not sure what we’ll do with him because I was planning to go chasing.”

Formerly trained in England by David Elsworth, Derulo made a successful debut over hurdles for Liz Doyle when capturing the Mac-Interiors Maiden Hurdle at the expense of The West’s Awake.

Arthur Moore enjoyed a welcome change of luck when Mitebeall Forluck, ridden by in-form Paul Townend and clearly appreciating the better ground, proved an emphatic winner of the Daily Mirror Handicap Chase.

Nigel Slevin savoured his first training success when 40/1 shot Third Estate, ridden by talented claimer Luke McGuinness, was a shock winner of the bumper.


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