Trainer Willie McCreery certainly enjoyed his post-Punchestown trip to Sligo yesterday, sharing a double with Billy Lee as Erysimum and Downforce delivered in good style.
McCreery, who won the opening fillies auction maiden with Champagne Or Water two years ago, struck again with odds-on favourite Erysimum, in the colours of Barouche Stud, which bolted up by no less than seventeen lengths from Zebgrey.
Having dictated the lead, Billy Lee let the Arcabo filly ease into the lead at half-way before drawing clear from before the home-turn, to the delight of trainer McCreery.
“She’s a home-bred filly that I’ve always liked. I just wanted to get a win with her.
“I knew that deep ground wouldn’t effect her. Billy kept it simple. She’s a very honest filly and we might look at a fillies handicap at the Curragh for her now.”
McCreery and Lee followed-up when Downforce, making his seasonal debut came from off the pace to foil favourite Ecoeye by a length and a quarter in the Durkin Bros.
Electrical Gurteen Handicap over just short of seven furlongs.
“Billy gave him a lovely ride – he took the brave route down the inside and had to sit and suffer,” commented McCreery.
“He quickened up lovely on the better ground up the straight and won nicely. He’s a nice horse and has been working well. I’d say seven furlongs is his maximum.”
Kieren Fallon, on his first visit to Sligo for “almost thirty years” (since his apprentice days on the Curragh with Kevin Prendergast), partnered the Kieran Purcell-trained favourite Oiche Mhaith Boy to complete a hat-trick in the Kennedy’s Bar Sligo Handicap.
Previously successful at Limerick and Gowran Park, the four-year-old hit the front turning for home and stayed on well to hold Shamar by three-quarters of a length, with longtime leader Face Value in third.
“He’s a tough little horse,” stated Walter Purcell, representing his father, while Fallon added: “He’s very tough and progressing with every run. He won in very soft ground in Limerick and came out two days later to win again in Gowran.”
“He handles that ground and keeps going. He kept finding for me in the straight and we were always holding them. He just does enough and there might be more to come from him.”
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