An­gel shows a touch of class to land spoils at Down­patrick

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY RON McKNIGHT

TYRONE trainer Andy Oliver sup­plied a lo­cal win­ner with Touched­byanan­gel in the North Down Mar­quees Hand­i­cap Hur­dle at Down­patrick yes­ter­day.

The win­ner, part­nered by An­drew Lynch, was record­ing backto-back vic­to­ries at the course when lead­ing at the last and eas­ily go­ing clear.

Touched­byanan­gel held off Lady Of The Sea and Blue Skim­mer to take the vic­tory, and was first past the post by two-and-ahalf lengths.

Lynch said: “I don’t know how good a race it was but he seems to have im­proved a bit from the last day.”

The win­ner is lo­cally owned by Co Antrim based Ronnie Graf­fin, who pre­vi­ously owned the use­ful Gus­tavus Vassa un­til his sale to Wil­lie Mullins.

“We bought him as a wee fun horse,” Mullins laughed. “It’s a day out for the fam­ily. I re­ally fan­cied him to­day.”

The Gavin Cromwell trained Po­lit­i­cal Pol­icy with Ger Fox aboard led be­fore the se­cond last to land the BMG In­surance Hur­dle in con­vinc­ing style, re­pelling favourite Count Simon eas­ily in the clos­ing stages.

Fox said: “He’s a bril­liant horse, that was his 81st start, he’s a gent.

“Gavin keeps him sweet. We will look for a race at Gal­way next. I owe Gavin ev­ery­thing — I’m very thank­ful.”

Cromwell and Fox dou­bled up when Aasleagh Dawn landed the mares maiden hur­dle with a late thrust, hold­ing off the challenge of Inish­bel and Isle of Des­tiny.

Inish­bel had made all the run­ning and looked set for suc­cess, only to be caught and over­taken by Aasleagh Dawn in the final 50 yards.

“Gavin is at the blood­stock sales,” Fox ex­plained. “I knew com­ing both had chances. It’s a long way home and I knew at the bot­tom of the hill I could catch the leader.”

Cham­pion jump jockey Davy Rus­sell got on the score­board cour­tesy of Youghal By The Sea in the maiden hur­dle, win­ning on the horse owned by his fa­ther Gerry.

The win­ner, trained by Gor­don El­liott, stalked the front run­ning Go Guar­an­tor un­til af­ter jump­ing at the final flight prior to be­ing pushed clear.

Rus­sell was de­lighted with the win, claim­ing: “That was prob­a­bly one of the most im­por­tant win­ners I’ve rid­den!

“I trav­elled up with my fa­ther — he didn’t open his mouth the whole way. We raced the mother and grand­mother and have a full brother and sis­ters at home.”

Gor­don El­liott dou­bled up when Touch Base, with Mark Walsh in the sad­dle, was al­ways prom­i­nent prior to claim­ing the long dis­tance hand­i­cap hur­dle, re­pelling the challenge of the lo­cally trained Caer­leon Kate.

Walsh said: “He’s rated 106, and thank­fully he fi­nally got his head in front. The other horse came to me but he put his head down and gal­loped to the line.”

Present In Court in the Qatar Rac­ing colours, and part­nered by Lisa O’Neill, led from flag fall to claim the final race of the day — the flat.

Tim­mome at­tempted to make all in the other staying hur­dle but was joined by Tara Mia at the last, and the lat­ter ran out the easy win­ner for trainer Tom Gib­ney.

Win­ning trainer: Andy Oliver

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