LARNE trainer Stuart Crawford has his horses in excellent form as was demonstrated last Sunday at Down Royal’s Boxing Day meeting where he saddled two winners and three second-placed horses from nine runners.
Pride of place has to go to Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s O’Toole who, on his jumping debut, won the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle at odds of 4/9 under J.J. Slevin.
This was a third career start for the highly regarded 2016 Mahler gelding who, well-bought by the Crawford Brothers for just €19,000 at the 2019 Derby Sale, finished second in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at this year’s Punchestown Festival having previously won a bumper at Fairyhouse in February.
The double was brought up in the Metcollect Cable Recycling Hunters’ Chase by the Stephen Connor-partnered Docking Cock.
That 2014 Winged Love gelding, who was having his fourth start for Crawford having previously been trained in England by Tom Lacey for whom he won two hurdles and two chases, was bred locally by Danny Doran and is the fourth of eight foals out of the Cadoudal mare Kiss Jolie.
Newry trainer Liam Lennon is always prepared to give young riders a chance and he wasn’t taking too much of a risk in engaging top apprentice Sam Ewing to partner Joy Wilson’s School Lane in the Metcollect Metal Recycling Handicap Chase.
He was delighted to give the Templepatrick-born jockey his first success on his second day over jumps on the 2013 Winged Love gelding.
Down in Limerick, Castlereagh-born Jordan Canavan won last Sunday’s near two and a half-mile BRC McMahon Reinforcements Andrew McNamara Memorial Handicap Chase on the Eugene O’Sullivan-trained Earths Furies.
At the southern track on Wednesday, the Johnny Levins-trained Alfie Hanna-bred Wishmoor (2010 gelding by Winged Love out of Presentingatdawn, by Presenting) won the extended two-mile, six-furlong handicap chase for the second year running in the hands of Ricky Doyle.