‘CREAM Sparkles’ (5/2 to 15/8 favourite), trained at Derrylin by David Christie, won by a nose the valuable Red Mills Hurdle at Ballinrobe on Monday, August 9. The consistent mare opened her account in style on the course proper, claiming the £20,000 feature while the owner, Michael O’Connor also gets a £10,000 voucher to spend on a horse at Tattersalls Bloodstock sales.
The local horse, which finished third at the Galway Festival the previous week, was delivered between horses on the line by Denis O’Regan, having waited in mid-division and, despite appearing to struggle at times, her nose was in front of runner up ‘Chicago Time’ in the photo in a three-way finish.
David Christie said: “Denis is cool! She sort of likes to be ridden cold and Denis worked that out the last day. He said he would settle her out the back and challenge at the last, and he was in the right place when he needed to be. She’s not a bad mare. She was never going to be a bumper mare because she stays.
“When she ran at Downpatrick, Darragh O’Keeffe said her wind was just a bit rough at the third-last, so we had her checked over, and then her run at Galway was more like it. She’s a half-sister to ‘Abbey Magic’, so it’s a nice pedigree and it’s very important for these mares to get a win. The owner Michael O’Connor is from Roscommon and has all his family here, so it’s brilliant for him. He’ll breed from her, I would say. I ran her on good to firm ground at Down Royal and she loved it. She moves well, so I hadn’t really any fears about the ground here.”
Meanwhile, Dromore trainer, Noel Hynds supplied a 22/1 shock result on rain softened ground at Leopardstown on Thursday night, August 5, when ‘Court Of Appeal’ claimed the Awards Handicap and the trainer’s first winner in over two years. The local horse was ridden patiently by Conor Hoban to gradually improve to fourth a furlong from home and keep on resolutely to score by half at length at the line. The County Down handler had purchased the five-year-old, which was winning for the first time, from British trainer, James Tate having originally cost £200,000 as a yearling.
Hynds, who also owns the winner, said: “He was a little unlucky in running at Dundalk the last day. We were happy with that run and he’s improved from it. It was a more competitive race today, but he’s stepped up and should be a nice fun horse at that level. My wife, Fiona, bought him last autumn out of Newmarket, so we’ll let her pick another one or two!”