CHERRY Coward saddled three winners from four runners at Friars Haugh last Sunday when the Berwickshire Hunt fixture near Kelso was the only one of three to survive the heavy overnight rain.
The middle leg of Coward’s treble came in the six-year-old and upwards maiden where, on his 10th ride in Britain, Jack Power recorded the first win of his career on the trainer’s own Ballydonagh Boy.
Power, who had just the one ride in Ireland (pulling up in an older geldings’ maiden at Ballyragget in March 2020), had partnered the eight-year-old Le Fou gelding in his three previous starts in Britain and had no hesitation sending him on four out to win by 20 lengths.
One of six Irish-bred winners on the seven-race card, Ballydonagh Boy, who ran twice in this country for Gerard Lawless, was bred by Sean Gorman out of the Cadoudal mare Hindi who won over jumps in her native France and is the dam of two track winners.
John Dawson finished third on the Coward-trained Direct Drilling but struck on the yard’s other two runners during the afternoon. He initiated his double in the opening four-runner four-, five- and six-year-old maiden over two and a half miles where Tom Cody, on his sixth start, justified odds of 2/5 by seven lengths.
This six-year-old Morozov gelding was bred in Co Wexford by Leo Doyle and is the 10th of 13 recorded foals out of the unraced Anshan mare Smiths Lady, dam of the track winners Grageelagh Girl and Powerstown Park, who are both by Craigsteel.
Dawson’s double and Coward’s treble came up in the concluding six-runner restricted where the seven-year-old Scorpion gelding Cool Desire just got up close home to score by a short-head.
The other three Irish-bred winners were the 13-year-old Cloudings gelding Towerburn (Level 2 conditions race), the eight-year-old Oscar gelding Oscar Wilde (ladies’ open) and the 10-year-old Gold Well gelding Alone No More (Level 3 conditions race). Two pony races got Sunday’s action under way.
Irish-breds continued to dominate on the hunters’ chase circuit in Britain, with three of the four races contested in the week up to Wednesday being won by horses bred in this country.
These were the nine-year-old Doyen gelding Pont Aven (Ludlow, February 9th), J.P. McManus’s 11-year-old Milan gelding Pure Vision (Ffos Las, February 10th) and the eight-year-old Shantou gelding Dolphin Square.
In dire weather conditions and with just 12 jumping efforts over nearly three-miles (three fences omitted), that Philip Hobbs-trained bay returned to winning ways at Lingfield on Tuesday under his owner, Downpatrick native David Maxwell.
The London-based property investor, who had finished ninth of 17 on Dolphin Square in a Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Sandown last time out, was recording his fifth win of the season. The winner is quoted between 8/1 and 10/1 for the Cheltenham hunter chase.
The British-bred Salvatore, a nine-year-old Schiaparelli gelding, won at Bangor last Friday.