RACEGOERS at the Route Hunt point to point fixture at Portrush enjoyed a day of good racing, despite some races having limited runners.
Derrylin trainer, David Christie has enjoyed a great start to the season and claimed the training honours with a double. The Fermanagh trainer had nursed ‘Eddie’s Miracle’ back from a serious injury [fractured pelvis] and the horse repaid the trainer when landing the feature on his return to action with Barry O’Neill aboard. The winner made up ground to challenge wide at the penultimate fence and go clear to beat the front running ‘Call It Magic’ and ‘Bridget’s Pet’.
Christie said: “It’s been a long road back and I’m delighted for the horse – it was an emotional victory. He’ll just continue in points.”
‘Some Man’ has rewarded the trainer’s faith, having won at the opening meeting and recording back to back victories when claiming the winners contest at the course, where he made his winning debut as a four-year-old.
Christie bought the horse back from British Champion trainer, Paul Nicholls at the Spring Doncaster Sales for £5,000 having previously been sold for £165,000.
The Derrylin handler said: “We’ll stick to points meantime. I’ll look for a maiden hunterchase at some point, but the long term aim would be the Cheltenham Foxhunters – I think he’s a proper horse.”
The Christie duo of winners are owned by on course bookmaker, Ray Nicholas, a long-time supporter of the local points scene.
The opening race was divided with the Donnchadh Doyle trained, ‘Press Your Luck’ claiming the first divide – supplying Rob James with the first leg of a double, having made all. ‘Ballyadam’, trained at Templepatrick by Colin McKeever and Stephen Connor in the saddle, made an impressive winning debut in the second division. Connor gave the local horse a very confident ride to score.
Leading owner Wilson Dennison said: “Like all mine he’s for sale and if not sold at home will go to the sales.”
The Mervyn Torrens trained ‘Back To Bataan’, returning to points after decent track form, readily won the finale after the leader made a mistake at the last and is destined to turn out again next weekend at Loughanmore in a winners event according to the Omagh trainer. Winning rider, Noel McParlan was completing a double, having won the mares maiden on ‘Timber Tang Girl’ trained by his father, Sean and is another destined for the sales. The Denis Murphy trained ‘Hard Ground’, with All-Ireland Champion rider, Jamie Codd aboard, won the geldings maiden.
Saturday, October 19
Portrush Point To Point
First Race – Division one: 1) Press Your Luck [Rob James] 5/1; 2) Bold Soldier; 3) Dare to Begin; 3) Flamenco de Kerser. 12 ran. 2 – dead heat – neck.
First Race – Division two: 1) Ballyadam [Stephen Connor] 5/1; 2) Bold Enough; 3) Premiumaccess. 12 ran. 4 – 4.
Second Race: 1) Hard Ground [Jamie Codd] 5/4 fav; 2) Whitechurch; 3) Billy Kimber. 6 ran. 2 1/2 – 5.
Third Race: 1) Timber Tang Girl [Noel McParlan] 1/1 fav; 2) Killimorie. Only two finished. 6 ran. 3 1/2 lengths.
Fourth Race: 1) Eddie’s Miracle [Barry O’Neill] 5/1; 2) Bridget’s Pet; 3) Call It Magic. 6 ran. 4 – head.
Fifth Race: 1) Some Man [Rob James] 4/5 fav; 2) Pegase Amour; 3) Ballinasilla. 5 ran. 5 – 4.
Sixth Race: 1) Back To Bataan [Noel McParlan] 4/5 fav; 2) The Bolder Boy; 3) Hollybank King. 5 ran. 2 – dist.