Gordon Elliott has started the new season as he ended the old and registered a 31/1 treble with Ibsen, Le Grand Chene and Ultimate Horseman in Downpatrick last night.
Elliott was in Chester to saddle Eshtiaal and missed seeing Ibsen, having his first run in almost a year and making his debut for his new stable, land a gamble in the opening Downe Maiden Hurdle, quickening for Kevin Sexton to see off longtime leader Unic De Bersy.
Le Grand Chene, a six-time winner in Britain and having his second start for Elliott, was given a strong ride by Bryan Cooper to foil Halls Bridge in the Celebrity Judges Handicap Chase, getting up late to score by a head, to give Cooper his first success of the new campaign.
Nina Carberry provided Elliott with his final win when the Gigginstown-owned newcomer Ultimate Horseman (5/4 favourite) proved too strong for Itshard To No in the bumper.
Another horse having his first run for a new stable — Red Clue — romped to victory in the Strictly At Downpatrick Races Handicap Hurdle, powering twenty lengths clear on the run-in to beat Lunch Master.
The six-year-old, which was ridden by Danny Mullins, is trained by Gillian Callaghan (“we only have him for six or seven weeks”) for the E R Syndicate from the north-west.
Mark Walsh provided Edward O’Grady with his first win since early March when the well-supported second favourite Getting Late foiled market-leader Shake It Up in the Waltz From A Samba Maiden Hurdle.
The winner was wearing cheekpieces for the first time and O’Grady explained: “Alan Crowe rode him the last day and said he needed to step-up in trip.”
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