Doubles order of the day at Crumlin

Ballyclare trainer, Harry Smyth pictured with his latest winner Colourful Hawk with winning rider, Neill gault and Kim Welsh
Ballyclare trainer, Harry Smyth pictured with his latest winner Colourful Hawk with winning rider, Neill gault and Kim Welsh

The Crumlin point to point attracted another bumper attendance last weekend.

Doubles were the order of the day with both multiple All-Ireland Champion Derek O’Connor and County Antrim Novice rider Neill Gault registering a brace of winners at the Randox venue on Saturday.

The latter – a 24 year old from Kells – was registering his fourth winner at the Killultagh meeting starting with Colourful Hawk for evergreen Ballyclare trainer Harry Smyth in the adjacent hunts contest – delivering a late challenge after the final fence to prevail.

The winning trainer said: “That’s what you buy for £2,000. I’m glad for the young lad and always thought the horse had ability to win races. I’ll consider going to the course with him now.”

Gault went on to complete the double in the finale aboard Fluffball, trained by Eyssen Ross at Glengormley, when again adopting similar tactics. The winner is owned by former Ulster trainer, Brian Lusk.

Racing got underway with Derek O’Connor partnering Ballycrosse to victory for Templepatrick trainer, Colin McKeever and Leading local owner, Wilson Dennison and the race producing a thrilling finish as three horses battled to the line and only a neck separating the first pair.

The winning owner said: “Like all of mine he would be for sale now. He’s improving and should make a nice chaser.”

The top rider, who also recorded a double on the first session, combined with trainer Graham McKeever to give the County Antrim trainer a double over the two days having scored with Oneforthenure in Friday’s finale when partnering Chosen Dream to a facile victory in the feature having waited in the rear before gradually picking up the field prior to the finale fence.

Downpatrick trainer Brian Hamilton, who enjoyed a successful sale of his youngsters with form at Brightwells Bloodstock Sales on Friday evening, produced another talented winner with One Tick claiming the five year old maiden in good fashion with Declan Lavery aboard.

The talented rider is due to partner top hunterchaser, Warne, at the Punchestown Festival later this week in the Champion Hunterchase.

Maple Mons, trained in Fermanagh by David Christie, having filled second on her previous five starts had success assured after jumping the final fence in the mares winners contest.

Frost and Cousin Bill, trained by Ian Ferguson and Sean McParlan respectively, were other local winners on Friday evening while the Ulster Riders Championship sees three winners divide the top trio with Derek O’Connor [19], Noel McParlan and Barry O’Neill [16].