OMAGH jockey, Simon Torrens heads to this week’s Cheltenham Festival in top form, following winning the Naas featured Leinster National aboard ‘Scoir Mear’.
The Tom Mullins trained winner was always prominent before leading prior to the penultimate fence and keeping on well in the testing conditions to beat favourite, ‘Ten Ten’ with ‘Fitzhenry’ third to supply Irish leading owner, JP McManus with the first trio home in the £80,000 handicap chase.
Mullins said: “He’s been consistent all year. He’s a horse that needs a bit of light and I said to Simon to go wide and keep him happy. He said he loved it and jumped from fence to fence. We’ll see what Frank (Berry – Racing Manager) and JP want to do and maybe he could go for the Irish National. I’m happy enough with today anyway.”
Torrens added: “He’s a horse I know well and it was great to get his head in front. I was hoping to get a lead for a bit further, but the race fell apart in the ground conditions. I wanted to keep him rolling and didn’t want to take him back. I was left in the lead and he was getting a bit weary, but pulled out more when it mattered.”
The local jockey and leading conditional in Ireland is due to partner the John McConnell trained, ‘Longclaws’ in the Boodles Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, with his mount already a three-time winner over hurdles this season, including at Down Royal last August.