‘LA Chanteuse’, trained at Larne by Stuart Crawford, was the impressive winner of the Rated Novice Hurdle at Down Royal last week. The local mare was always handy, with JJ Slevin aboard, prior to challenging between horses before two out and soon led from favourite, ‘On Eagles Wings’, which attempted to make all, and jumped the final hurdle in front to seal victory. The local handler has his team in good form and it was a family success with the winner owned by his mother, Edith.
Crawford said: “She loves those conditions and that race today, conditions wise, probably suited her. I really wanted to go back to Fairyhouse for the mares’ graded race, which has obviously been rescheduled for Monday. A big factor in me coming here today was that I wanted JJ (Slevin) to ride her again. Hopefully, we can look for something else. She probably deserves to go in and take a wee chance in one of those (graded races) I would like to get her a bit of black type. She’ll jump a fence in time. Looking what comes next will be my homework for tonight.”
The feature chase produced another dramatic conclusion on the day. ‘Arahecan’ appeared set to score when readily leading and clear prior to the penultimate fence, only to fall and leave victory to the locally trained, ‘Stansfield’ with amateur, Cormac Abernethy in the saddle. The winner is trained at Dundrod by Paul Traynor, who is also a farrier, and is owned by partner Karen McNeilly and travelled strongly into the race before three out on the wide outside, before being presented with the race. The well supported favourite, ‘Cavalry Master’ failed to jump fluently, but managed to stay on to fill second.
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