A cold blustery day greeted racegoers at the Loughbrickland point to point on Saturday on a day when owner/trainers dominated proceedings.
Current All-Ireland Champion points rider, Jamie Codd, was again on the score board with a double maintaining his challenge to multiple champion, Derek O’Connor on the All-Ireland title.
Codd is five behind O’Connor on 53 for the season, with the Wexford rider presently sharing the lead in the Northern Region title battle with Barry O’Neill – the pair having recorded a dozen winners each.
Vital Plot very easily claimed the featured open race having been to the fore prior to leading two out and winning for owner/trainer, Liam Kenny and justify favouritism.
The open race completed the brace for Codd who has made all the running to score on Loughbricklandrose with the winner owned and trained by Mayne Kidd on whose lands the point to point is staged and is trained on the gallops at the track owned by his brother, John who also owns the sire of the winner, September Storm which stands at the Kidd family’s Ballyash Stud.
Mayne Kidd said: “It’s great to have a winner on our home ground – She is for sale.”
Banbridge rider Stephen Clements continued his run of success having won the Gowran Park bumper and Downpatrick hunterchase the previous weekend when landing the opening four year old maiden aboard Cappuccino Man asserting three fences from home to beat the Charlie Swan trained, Robin Roe easily.
Newry rider Jason McKeown was seen to good advantage when winning on Little Bill delivering a well-timed challenge from three out to lead at the penultimate fence and in command thereafter on the Thomas McGeough owned and trained winner of the geldings maiden.
The winner’s contest provided the closest finish of the afternoon when Remember The Past with Johnny Flynn in the saddle lead at the last and withheld the late challenge of Maple Mons – the winner owned and trained by Leslie Doran and having registered his sole previous success at the venue.
The concluding contest produced another close finish with half a length separating the winner State Of Origin and Barrack Street with the victor owned and trained in County Antrim by Lyle Andrew – the winner leading three out and keeping on best of the pair close home.
Meanwhile, Horse Racing Ireland have announced increased financial support for points with grants paid to hunt clubs running point- to- points being increased from €2,500 per fixture to €3,500 and with effect from 1st September 2015, the grant will be increased by a further €1,000 to €4,500 per fixture.
In addition, HRI will provide prize money grants of €800 per race for all point-to-point races. The initial increase will be retrospective to 30th December 2014.