‘NED Stark’, being the sole finisher in the featured open race run in another torrential downpour during racing, highlighted the testing conditions at the County Down Hounds point to point at Loughbrickland. Nine battle hardened horses went to the start, but only the Sarah Dawson trained winner completed the race.
Former top class chaser, ‘Mount Colah’, which started his career at the venue but now 14 years old, led and was prominent until calling it a day three from home, likewise ‘Velocity Lad’ again to the fore but pulled up at the penultimate fence, leaving the always handy ‘Ned Stark’, partnered by Johnny Barry, to negotiate the final two fences to collect the valuable feature.
The winner was scoring on his fourth effort for Dawson and had been bought from trainer, Gordon Elliott for £4,000 having cost those connections £70,00 in 2016. Future plans were unclear in the absence on the day of the Dromore trainer.
Templepatrick handler, Graham McKeever, who landed the 2018 Aintree Foxhunters with ‘Balnaslow’, sent out ‘Ballyhawkish’ to claim the opening younger maiden, leading before two from home and keeping on in good style to score with Pa King aboard.
McKeever said: “ I’ll talk to my partners in the horse and see what they want to do.”
The Jamie Sloan trained, ‘Lasparas’ was another local success on a day, when all races went to Northern trainers. The winner always travelled and jumped very well and appeared the likely winner some way from home, while winning champion rider, Jamie Codd was fulsome in his praise of the clear cut winner and said: “He’s one that will win plenty of races.”
‘Ask D’Man’ made it two from two for new trainer, David Christie in the winners’ event, scoring in facile fashion following up Portrush success last time.
Christie said: “I think a lot of him, but he’ll stick with point to points this season.”
‘Credo’, trained at Draperstown by Noel Kelly, was another that could be called the winner during racing and made a winning debut in the mares maiden, with dual Northern champion rider, Noel McParlan in the saddle, the combination winning by an extending nine lengths.
The Jerry Cosgrave trained, ‘Sleve Donard’ with Declan Lavery aboard, opened his account in the finale when making all the running to prevail for the Banbridge trainer.
‘Storm Control’ was an apt winner at Cheltenham on Saturday, with breeder John Kidd supplying the venue for the County Down Hunt meeting. Trained by Kerry Lee, the son of ‘September Storm’, which the former and successful Northern Representative on the board of Horse Racing Ireland and former Chairman of the N.I. Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association stood for several years, made all to prevail in good fashion.
Kidd said: “He did it very well and the dam, ‘Double Cream’ is related to ‘Greyabbey’, which won 15 races including the Scottish Grand National. I have a nice colt foal, a half-brother to Saturday’s winner by ‘Sageburg’ going to the sales, which have been pushed back to December due to the lockdown. The sire was with Sean Kinsella for a couple of seasons, but has now gone back to France, so ‘Storm Control’ was a timely update to the pedigree.”
Saturday, November 14
LOUGHBRICKLAND POINT TO POINT
First Race: 1) Ballyhawkish, Pa King; 2) Git Maker; 3) Ballykeel. 9 ran. 2 1/2 – 1 1/2.
Second Race: 1) Lasparas, Jamie Codd; 2) Don’t Matter Now; 3) Coothill. 11 ran. 7 – 6.
Third Race: 1) Ask D’Man, Barry O’Neill; 2) Lowtown Boy; 3) Dento Des Obeaux. 7 ran. 8 – 6.
Fourth Race: 1) Credo, Noel McParlan; 2) All Loved Up; 3) Jaunty Velocity. 7 ran. 9 – 8.
Fifth Race: 1) Ned Stark, John Barry. Winner finished alone.
Sixth Race: 1) Sleve Donard, Declan Lavery; 2) Boogily Lane; 3) Godiva’s Bay. 4 ran. 8 – 8.