Thursday 17 August 2017 10:12:12 PM

Punters Brave The Bad Weather At Tyrella Point To Point
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IT was a seriously bad weather day at Tyrella as the wind, rain and cool temperatures added up to make conditions very unpleasant for spectators, jockeys and the horses. With strong gusts sweeping across the field, there was no doubt that some of the horses were quite unsettled and off form, making picking that elusive winner all the more difficult writes Joe Kavanagh.

Newry horse South Circle jumps at the last fence but falls to miss a chance to challenge to the final post.

Newry horse South Circle jumps at the last fence but falls, missing a chance to challenge to the final post.

But despite the weather, and the last minute inspection, the East Down Hunt succeeded in staging their point-to-point at Tyrella at the third attempt on Saturday. It was certainly very soft  yet Newry rider, Jason McKeown took the riding honours when recording a double.  The local rider landed the opener aboard Patsy’s Benefit when left clear as South Circle fell in the last fence with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle. (Newry horse Archview Sunshine also took a tumble on the last at the same time making for an exciting opener at Tyrella).

Double Scores in action at Tyrella in the second race.

Clear and safe: Double Scores in action at Tyrella in the second race heading for the winning post.

The rider completed his brace at the venue when Lusey Rocks denied favourite, Ballybrack Dancer in the mares maiden making a better jump at the last fence assuring victory.  Former Ulster Region Champion rider, Ben Crawford registered an easy success in the geldings maiden on Double Scores trained by his brother, Stuart who also supplied the runner-up, Jay Are. The winner always travelling best while favourite Belmount with Irish Champion rider, Derek O’Connor aboard pulled up three from home.

Kerrib Castle confirmed his recent form when runner-up in a Downpatrick Hunterchase when landing the winners contest for Portadown father and son team, Stephen and Michael Mc Conville, the winner being always prominent and winning with a degree of ease for the Portadown pair whose small team have hit form in recent weeks.

Kerrib Castle, left, puts on a spurt to outstrip Chosen Dream in the MJM Winners of Two.

Kerrib Castle, left, puts on a spurt to outstrip Chosen Dream in the MJM Winners of Two.

The Last Derby made all the running to justify favouritism in the open race to record his fourth victory for Derrylin handler, David Christie, and readily holding the late challenge of runner-up, Long Strand. The Fermanagh-based trainer who headed the point-to-point handlers table at the end of last year advised:  “ I am delighted the local circuit finally got going again. I will keep him (The Last Derby) going mixing open races and hunter-chasing during the rest of the season.”

Ballymena trainer, Ian Ferguson claimed the last of the day with Bridge End, owned by the trainer’s wife Jane and son, Paul. This win provided stable jockey, William Thompson with another winner bringing his tally for the season to seven.  Bridge End improved from his two efforts to date and with the manner of success should be capable of adding to his tally in the coming weeks.  The Cullybackey-based trainer said:  “ He did that nicely and I will look for a winner’s race for him next.”

PIctured at the meeting was trainer Stephen Magee, whose well-known father, trainer Joe Magee passed away last year. Stephen, a pharmacist in Downpatrick by profession, pursues his passion in keeping up a long family tradition of training horses going back to his grandfather. He took over the license from his father. His sister Joanne was helping out on the day.  In the third race,  News for Pascal owned by Cathal McGovern, was a hopeful, but the horse  pulled up in the third lap. Last week at the Kirkistown P2P meeting, Stephen enjoyed his first win as a trainer, a year to the day his father died. At the Tyrella meeting he had three horses entered from his stable.

Cathal Mc Govern, owner of Galway Plate winner, Ballyholland, Liam Mc Philemy, rainer, with Joanne and Steven Magee from Strangford at the East Down point-to-point meeting.

From left, Cathal Mc Govern, owner of Galway Plate winner, Ballyholland, Liam Mc Philemy, trainer, with Joanne and her brother Steven Magee from Strangford at the East Down point-to-point meeting.

FIRST RACE –

sponsored by Albert Bartlett

1st     Patsy’s Benefit  [Jason Mc Keown]  7/1, 

2nd   Lady Wilton Milan

3rd    The Bosses Sister

Dist – ½  16 ran

There was nowhere to hide from the wind and the rain at the P2P at Tyrella.

There was nowhere to hide from the wind and the rain at the P2P at Tyrella.

SECOND RACE  –

sponsored by Tattersalls Ireland

1st      Double Score  [Ben Crawford]  5/1

2nd     Jay Are

3rd     Five For Fifteen

4 – 10  14 ran

THIRD RACE –

sponsored by MJM Interior Build

1st       Kerrib Castle  [ Michael Mc Conville] 6/1

2nd      Chosen Dream

3rd       Waltz Legend

10 – 15  14 ran

FOURTH RACE – 

sponsored by Armstrong Auctions

1st     The Last Derby  [Barry O’Neill]  6/4 fav

2nd      Long Strand

3rd       The Snuffler

1 – 10  8 ran

FIFTH RACE – 

for  the Major O’Reilly Memorial

1st      Lusey Rocks  [Jason Mc Keown]  10/1

2nd     Ballybrack Dancer

3rd     Emmas Rainbow

2 – head  13 ran

SIXTH RACE

sponsored by FS Herron (Animal Feed merchant)

1st      Bridge End  [ William Thompson]  14/1

2nd     Golanzine

3rd      Clondaw Island

1 – 2  16 ran