JAMIE Sloan made a dream start to his training career at Kirkistown point to point, when his first ever runner supplied an emphatic success in the first race.
‘Gallyhill’, partnered by former Ulster Champion rider, Noel McParlan, provided his first winner, travelling in eye-catching fashion in the closing stages on his debut to score and supply leading owner, Wilson Dennison with a one-two in the first division.
Sloan said: “A good start! We were thinking of running him in April but he was too weak – he just needed time to grow into himself. We gave him a good summer to mature and it has paid dividends now. He did loads of growing over the summer. I was quietly confident, but sure four-year-old maidens you never know what is going to happen. We just didn’t want him to get there too soon. He still would be a bit green, he is going to come on a lot from his first run but he jumped well and got through the ground well.”
He added: “I have 12 or 13 in training presently. I’d think ‘Gallyhill’ is likely to be sold now.”
Sloan has taken over the license at Ian Ferguson’s yard, renowned for producing numerous high class horses, such as ‘Simonsig’ and ‘Rathvinden’, while giving Ferguson a Cheltenham Festival winner with ‘Zemsky’. Ferguson said: “Jamie has worked back and forward for me since he was 12. He has travelled and has worked for top trainers in France. It’s great for the kid. He’s in my yard using the facilities and it was either that or me selling the place.”
The local point to point circuit concluded for the autumn at the North Down venue, with Derrylin trainer, David Christie claiming the training honours and Barry O’Neill the riding honours with a treble. The Derrylin handler sent out ‘Dylrow’ to make a winning debut for him in the feature, with O’Neill in the saddle and Christie said: “He’ll mix open races and hunterchases in the spring.”
Christie also produced another new recruit – ‘On The Sod’ – to again score on his debut for the stable in the winners’ contest, with O’Neill again doing the steering, but had to work hard to prevail with a short head – the verdict at the line over another local runner ‘Samurai Cracker’. Another winners event is envisaged by the trainer for his latest recruit. Barry O’Neill also landed the second division of the opener on the Colin Bowe trained ‘Askinvillar’.
Downpatrick trainer, Pat Turley was another to be on the scoreboard, when ‘Double Smart’ in the hands of Declan Lavery took the mares maiden, while Newry trainer, Liam Lennon claimed the geldings maiden with ‘Lowtown Boy’, providing Noel McParlan with a double at the final fixture. Jim Dreaper maintained his excellent strike record at the venue, when ‘Trimmers Lane’ with champion rider Jamie Codd aboard won the finale.
Saturday, November 24
Kirkistown point to point
First Race – Division one: 1) Gallyhill [Noel McParlan] 5/1; 2) Ballybegg; 3) Western Limits. 10 ran, 2 1/2 – head.
First Race – Division two: 1) Askinvillar [Barry O’Neill] 4/1; 2) Keep Em Lit; 3) The Dara Man. 9 ran. 6 – 1/2.
Second Race: 1) Double Smart [Declan Lavery] 7/4 fav; 2) Killimore; 3) Ringneil. 9 ran. 6 – 3/4.
Third Race: 1) Lowtown Boy [Noel McParlan] 6/1; 2) Big Leg Up; 3) Parkgate. 7 ran. 2 1/2 – 6.
Fourth Race: 1) On the Sod [Barry O’Neill] 5/1; 2) Samurai Cracker; 3) Thunderosa. 8 ran. Short head – 7.
Fifth Race: 1) Dylrow [Barry O’Neill] 5/1; 2) Mighty Stowaway; 3) Mount Colah. 9 ran. 4 – 1.
Sixth Race: 1) Trimmers Lane [Jamie Codd] 4/1; 2) Danjaman; 3) Kalamkan. 11 ran. 2 – 10.