Jody McGarvey enjoyed a dream Easter Sunday as he completed a Grade 1 double aboard Skyace and Janidil in the two feature races at Fairyhouse.
The jockey, who also won Saturday's Fairyhouse feature on Hearts Are Trumps, first struck on Sunday with bargain buy Skyace in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final.
Despite placing in three bumpers for Willie Mullins, the six-year-old changed hands for just £600 in November 2019 and has proved an extremely shrewd acquisition by trainer Shark Hanlon.
Following wins at Grade 3 and listed level, the six-year-old finished fourth in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last month – and was a 4/1 joint-favourite for her latest big-race assignment.
It looks like @jody_mcgarvey enjoyed that one. Skyace wins the Irish Stallion Farms @IrishEBF_ Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final. John Hanlon the winning trainer. The horse was bought for just £600 ?? pic.twitter.com/LpGNJyCllS— FairyhouseRacecourse (@Fairyhouse) April 4, 2021
Skyace travelled strongly on the heels of the leaders for much of the way, but after taking over the lead early in the home straight, she looked at the mercy of the strong-travelling Gauloise between the final two flights.
However, Jody McGarvey’s mount refused to bend and managed to hold off the Mullins-trained runner by half a length.
McGarvey later teamed up with Janidil, the outsider of three runners for Willie Mullins in the two-and-a-half-mile Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup Novice Chase.
However, Janidil proved by far the best as a 12/1 shot, leading home his stablemates in a clean sweep for the Closutton handler.
What a day for @jody_mcgarvey!!!! Double Grade 1 success. ??— FairyhouseRacecourse (@Fairyhouse) April 4, 2021
Janidil wins the Underwriting Exchange Gold Cup Novice Chase. ????
A great race for @WillieMullinsNH who trained all three of the placed horses. pic.twitter.com/vg9dreETgU
Asterion Forlonge was partnered by Patrick Mullins after intended rider Paul Townend suffered a fall earlier on the card, and he was prominent throughout, racing on the heels of pacesetting Conflated with main market rival Andy Dufresne alongside.
The writing was on the wall for that runner some way out though, and it looked as though Asterion Forlonge was going to triumph as he hit the front with three to jump.
However, he found little for pressure approaching the penultimate obstacle, while Janidil was staying on for McGarvey, taking it up after jumping that fence and fairly sprinting home by four and a quarter lengths from the fast-finishing Franco De Port. Asterion Forlonge plugged on for third.
?? "To ride two Grade One winners is unbelievable."— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 4, 2021
A Grade One double at @Fairyhouse for @jody_mcgarvey who reflects on the importance of these big-race winners following the victories of skyace & Janidil ?? pic.twitter.com/1PrEedosSp