DONALD MCCAIN, a man with a famous pedigree, saddled Overturn to land the Guinness Galway Hurdle at Ballybrit yesterday, in front of an attendance of 44,418.
He is a son of the great Ginger McCain, who won the Aintree Grand National on three occasions with the legendary Red Rum.
Overturn was only the third British trained horse to win this contest, to go with Rushmoor in 1986 and Sagaman in 1991.
Carrying more than 11-0 in the Hurdle usually means you have little or no chance, which makes Overturn’s performanace — he had 11-6 — all the more meritorious.
Graham Lee, born just two miles from the track at Mervue, bounced him away in front and set a spanking gallop. Truth to tell, it had most of the opposition gasping for air a long way from home.
The exception was well-backed favourite Dirar, who was cruising along in behind for most of the trip.
Dirar joined issue two from home, but was beaten in a mattter of strides at the back of the obstacle and it was left to last year’s winner, Bahrain Storm, to chase the winner.
In the end Overturn romped home five and a half lengths to the good and that represented a high-class display.
“I got him beat one day off 95, that was some training performance”, said a beaming McCain. He won yesterday off a mark of 145.
Continuing McCain said: “I was as confident as I could be coming into a big race, but was out of my comfort zone in Ireland.
“He will continue to mix it over hurdles and on the flat, but we’ll take him home before making any plans.
“He will have to now go for some of those conditions hurdles in the autumn and the spring. He is a tough horse and has been improving all year.”
Said Lee: “This is great, fantastic. I didn’t see another horse, my lad is very good. He travelled and jumped great, this is a dream come true.”
McCain and Lee, of course, previously teamed up to win the Grand National at Aintree with Amberleigh House in 2004.
Tony McCoy was sent crashing to the turf when Lethal Weapon took a heavy fall at the fourth. Fortunately, however, he was soon on his feet and relatively unscathed.
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