THE North Down point to point on Saturday supplied doubles for Ulster connections.
Local rider, Danny Fitzsimmons got on the Ulster region scoreboard in style with a dazzling double. The talented young rider registered his first winner of the season when steering veteran Send For Paddy to victory in the featured open race after favourite, Slippers Percy, took the lead but fell at the third last fence with Strongpoint having attempted to make all.
Send For Paddy having been left in second stayed on best in the closing stages to overhaul the runner-up at the final obstacle with just the pair completing the course and recording the horse’s first win this term for Dundrod based, owner/trainer, Robbie Armstrong, who advised: “It is nice to be back in the winners enclosure with him – hopefully we can collect a few more open races during the season. The heavy ground in the back straight suited him and he was always going to keep going.”
Fitzsimmons had a straightforward task aboard Taghabrick when landing the second division of the finale being always prominent prior to leading three from home and readily scoring and duly landing a gamble [8/1 to 4/1] on the George Stewart trained six year old which should collect a winners contest for owners, the local Ballymac Syndicate during the course of the Spring sector of the season. The Larne based Crawford brothers drew a blank at their local meeting the previous weekend following a high profile double at the Maze Festival but bounced back with another double at the North Down venue.
Mill Bay owned and trained by Stuart Crawford made virtually all the running to claim the five year old maiden with brother Ben, last year’s Joint Regional Champion aboard with favourite and second, Walden having had every chance. The brace for Ben and Stuart was completed when Quigley adopted similar tactics to claim the second divide of the last by 25 lengths.
Stuart Crawford commented: “Last weekend didn’t go to plan but I pleased with a pair of winners today.”
Former professional jockey Sonny Carey, who was associated with Arthur Moore’s stable, took the opener on Annacoty with again just two finishers and favourite, Medieval Chapel a first fence faller. The Liam Lennon trained, A Special Lady showed no ill-effects from her effort the previous weekend when confirming form with Sentry Girl and beating favourite, Jenny Make A Penny in the mares maiden.
Killinchy-based restaurateur and trainer, Aaron Stronge sent out General Maccrevy to claim the winners event with the winner always to the fore prior to leading two from home with Downpatrick novice rider, Pat Turley in the saddle and winning trainer, adding: “Today was always the plan – He likes a flat track and my home meeting was an ideal target.”
First race: 1st, Annacoty [Sonny Carey] 6/1; 2nd, Mosspark
2 ½ ONLY 11 ran - only 2 finished
Second race: 1st, A Special Lady [John Creswell] 4/1; 2nd, Jenny Make a Penny; 3rd, Sentry Girl
3 – 6 8 ran
Third race: 1st, Milll Bay [Ben Crawford] 8/1; 2nd, Walden; 3rd, Clough Ranger
1 – 4 9 ran
Fourth race: 1st, General Maccrevy [Pat Turley] 5/2; 2nd, Be My Run; 3rd, Nothinaddedbuttime
4 – 3 8 ran
Fifth race: 1st, Send For Paddy [Danny Fitzsimmons] 6/1; 2nd, Strongpoint
4 lengths 11 ran - Only two finished
Sixth race – division one: 1st, Quigley [Ben Crawford] 8/1; 2nd, Danny’s Bridge; 3rd, Bang On Time
25 – 10 11 ran
Division two: 1st, Tagnabrick [Danny Fitzsimmmons] 4/1; 2nd, Robyn Rua; 3rd, Stonewall
2 – ½ 10 ran