DAVID Christie’s bid to record his first success of the season took him to Dromahane last Sunday when he achieved his aim by saddling Ferns Lock, his only runner, to make a winning seasonal debut in the 13-strong open.

Greeted back at the number one spot by his Belfast owner Ray Nicholas, the Barry O’Neill-ridden six-year-old Telescope gelding, who was winning for the sixth time since joining the Derrylin yard, scored by eight and a half lengths from the Gareth Metcalfe-bred nine-year-old Dinny Lacey (Presenting – Prowler, by Old Vic).

Last month’s Moira winner Wowsham, who is trained by Ross Crawford for David Laverty, was a further three lengths back in third.

On the same afternoon, the McLoughlin Bros-bred Beau’s Candle followed up his Lisronagh maiden success by landing the winners of one at Knockmullen House.

The eight-year-old Winged Love gelding is out of the Hubbly Bubbly mare Bubbly Lass who won a Farmacaffley maiden in February 2007 for the George Stewart yard.

Beau’s Candle is the fifth of his dam’s six thoroughbred foals while she produced a filly in 2018 by the popular Dutch Warmblood sire Tyson. Bubbly Lass is an own-sister to Cloudy Bays whose nine wins included the Leopardstown Chase.

While all six winners at Badbury Rings on Sunday carried an IRE suffix, none were bred in Northern Ireland.

The only tenuous link we could find was to the conditions race winner, Moratorium, who won his bumper at Down Royal in May 2018 when he was trained by that man Gordon Elliott.

The Portman fixture was the only point-to-point in Britain last weekend but there are two scheduled for tomorrow.

Getting ready for the Saintfield Christmas Ride

THE re-scheduling of the Ladbrokes Festival of Racing at Down Royal meant there was a much reduced presence from the racing world at last Friday’s launch of the 17th Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride.

However, Alan Buchanan did join the event’s organiser, Joan Cunningham, and others in the grounds of Rowallane Gardens where it was announced that the ride, which takes place this day fortnight, on Saturday, December 2nd, would be four miles long with a short-cut for those leading small children.

A map of the route, which starts and ends at Andrews Yard on the Lisburn Road, and all entry details can be found on the Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride Facebook page or on www.saintfieldhorseshow.com.

You can also contact Joan by phone 07775860744 or email joancunningham1@gmail.com