DOWNPATRICK Racecourse hosted another great race meeting for the public. The weather was cold, but the Johnny Cash tribute band kept the spirits alive reports Gareth Sharvin.
The first race was William Hill’s Maiden Hurdle, where Gordon Elliott’s horse was odds on favourite due to the horse’s experience in graded company. Rocky Wednesday started out well, but it was noticeable that the horse was not on full power. Paul Townend on King of Aran made use of this weakness and gave his all in the finish to win the race.
Noel Meade’s horse He’s a Delight arrived in poor form but from talking to the stable staff they quite upbeat about the horse’s chances. With local trainer Brian Hamilton’s horse running in the race, Open Up Your Heart, the crowd were hoping for a local trainer. Noel Meade and Davy Condon made a good pairing again and seems they were in great form themselves with He’s A Delight coming in first easily with James Lambe’s Nanna Maura running in second.
The third race provided a shock with Michael O’Connor making the travel up with Castle Ranger. It was well worth it for Castle Ranger when the horse went all out in the closing stages with Utrillo’s Art challenging in the run-in, but was slightly hampered during the race giving the edge to Castle Ranger.
Fourth race was a winner for Larne trainer S R B Crawford, but Streamtown was not the only winner for the trainer, when the crowd watched Call Box in the sixth race joined the winning stats with Streamtown. Call Box was a hot tip during the day for race goers, but Call Box still won at a healthy 10/1.
The last race was the Dunlop Agri and Nugent “Spirit 25” Horse Trailer Flat race which gave the crowd an exciting finish to the day. With Willie Mullins only horse Koko Lane closing to the finish line as the winner, Ironmill Lad for J Mulhern was running on strongly at the closing stages and it looked like the horse had made the line. It took a photograph finish for the Mullins team to claim the winner by a short head.
The Johnny Cash tribute band then came into its own and set the stage for the afterwards celebration where lady jockey Nina Carberry joined in with the crowd of punters.