MANY congratulations to Co Armagh owner Gary Devlin on the success of his Ado McGuinness-trained A Case Of You in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in Dubai last Saturday.

The four-year-old Hot Streak colt, who hit the front two furlongs down, won by a length and a quarter under Ronan Whelan. When he did so, it appeared from the videos we’ve seen, that all the support party got into the drive position as well and when A Case Of You crossed the line, wild celebrations ensued!

These were even better than those displayed when A Case Of You won the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp last October and we’re sure connections will be hoping to improve them even further during the season.

There was a quieter reception last Friday evening at Dundalk where the McGuinness-trained Skontonovski won the mile handicap by a nose under Colin Keane in the colours of Gary’s brother Mark.

In the opening race at Meydan, Co Down-born jockey Patsy Cosgrave had to settle for second when, having made much of the running, his mount, Kerless Del Rock, was collared a furlong out by First Class and went down by a head in the Dubai Kahayla Classic. There were 16 starters in the 10-furlong Grade 1 race on dirt for Arab horses which had a prize-fund of US$1m.

As the Dubai Carnival concluded on Saturday, the flat turf season opened in this part of the world and, on day two, Sunday, Oisin Orr landed the Listed Plusvital Devoy Stakes at Naas for Belfast owner Patricia Hunt on the Noel Meade-trained Layfayette and, minutes later, fellow Co Donegal-born jockey Martin Harley won the featured conditions race at Doncaster on the Alan King-trained Raymond Tusk.

Support for agricultural shows

THE good news for those who fill in their summer weekends when there are no point-to-points or racemeetings to attend by heading to their local agricultural show is that, for the main part, they are back for 2022 following a two-year absence due to Covid.

Last week, Edwin Poots, the Northern Ireland Executive Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, announced a £200,000 support package for the sector. “Many businesses were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and our agricultural shows were not immune to these effects, with all shows cancelled in 2020 and only a few being able to take place in 2021. This resulted in shows losing the opportunity to raise vital funds that would help prepare for the 2022 season.

“Shows play a vital role in showcasing our excellent agri-food produce and supporting our rural communities, as well as boosting our economy and the additional tourism opportunities

“These shows are predominately run by many volunteers who give of their free time and I would like to extend my thanks to them for all of their hard work.”