Armagh trainer narrowly misses out on double success

Armagh trainer, Keith Watson who is enjoying a successful season.

Armagh trainer, Keith Watson who is enjoying a successful season.

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Armagh trainer Keith Watson narrowly missed recording a Festival double last week with Shamar.

The French-bred gelding formerly trained by Willie Mullins, won at Galway early in the month when registering a surprise 25/1 success.

The local trainer targeted the Listowel Festival last week and Friday’s Ladies Day feature – the valuable Guinness Handicap. However, Shamar had to settle for runner-up in the contest behind the three year old favourite, Fact Or Folklore trained by Willie McCreery.

The Ulster trainer advised: “Shamar has done us proud since his purchase. I not sure where next but he has options on the flat or back hurdling. The horses are in good form at present.

“We have a few new additions but I want to keep the numbers that we can treat each horse as an individual – we have a mix of national hunt, flat and a few for points. I’m very happy how things are going presently with the jumps season proper just round the corner.”

The autumn sector of the Ulster point to point season is scheduled to get underway next Saturday with the Mid Antrim Hunt’s fixture at Toomebridge.

The first of the six races is due off at the early start time of 12.30 while 20 times champion jockey, AP McCoy is due to attend and present the trophies at his home meeting at Moneyglass.

Downpatrick stage racing on Friday with an all National Hunt card and the first race at 2.15pm.