THE holiday venue at Portrush saw the Route Hunt’s point to point attracting a decent attendance and the going in excellent condition. The featured open race saw ‘Sambremont’ attempt to make most of the running with ‘Mr Moss Man’ always in close attendance, however, when the favourite fell two from home, it allowed the Luke McGuinness partnered winner to easily deny the only other finisher, ‘Twilight Shadow’. Winning trainer, Nigel Slevin confirmed his horse, which has now won under all codes, will remain between the flags this season.
Trainer, Donnchadh Doyle continues to dominate the four-year-old division and has now won all the opening contests on the Northern Circuit to date. Doyle’s third winner in recent weeks was ‘Lone Rocket’ with Rob James in the saddle – the combination leading at the penultimate fence for an easy victory and is now sales bound.
Templepatrick duo, owner Wilson Dennison and trainer, Colin McKeever, had to settle for second in the opener with ‘Braeside’, but gained compensation in the five-year-old contest when ‘Getaman’ – runner up at Toome – gained a facile success with champion rider, Derek O’Connor aboard. Dennison said: “Like all mine – he’s now for sale.”
‘Slumdogmillionaire’ was in front when falling three from home and is one to note in the future.
The Stuart Crawford trained, ‘Drumnagreagh’ landed a gamble [12s to 5/1] in the mares maiden. The winner, with the trainer’s brother, Ben aboard, was given a very confident ride prior to an easy success and beating favourite, ‘Jasper Bear’. Trainer Crawford said: “We’ll keep her to points meantime.”
‘Kadmer’ was another to supply compensation when winning on his debut for Derrylin trainer, David Christie following the trainer’s ‘Sambremont’ falling in the open race. Christie said: “He’s a nice sort and I was confident he would run well. He’ll mix points and hunterchasing.”
Father and son duo, John and James Walsh, combined to claim the finale for older maidens with ‘Minimum Mix’.
Saturday, October 20
Portrush point to point
First Race: 1) Lone Rocket [Rob James] 7/2; 2) Braeside; 3) Highgate Hill. 10 ran. 4 – 6.
Second Race: 1) Getaman [Derek O’Connor] 7/4; 2) Oscar Academy; 3) Generous Charlie. 5 ran. 12 – 15.
Third Race: 1) Drumnagreagh [Ben Crawford] 5/1; 2) Jasper Bear; 3) Maisy Belle. 5 ran. 3 1/2 – 12.
Fourth Race: 1) Mr Boss Man [Luke McGuinness] 6/1; 2) Twilight Shadow. Only two finished. 4 ran. 15 lengths.
Fifth Race: 1) Kadmer [Barry O’Neill] 2/1; 2) Star Wizard; 3) Oscar Light. 4 ran. 4 – 1 1/2.
Sixth Race: 1) Minimum Mix [JJ Walsh] 4/1; 2) Anticur; 3) Secret Approach. 4 ran. 6 – 12.