Daire McConville had a day to remember on Saturday when he recorded a treble at his local track in Farmacaffley. The 20-year-old from Portadown opened his account aboard the Marshal Watson-trained He Knows My Name in The Mullen Family Confined Hunt Winners race.
With only one other rival to race alongside, the daughter of Kayf Tara who was racing in the colours of Watsons mother Claire made all and quickened clear from the penultimate fence to win by 25 lengths over Accordingtojohnny.
Winning handler Watson commented “It was disappointing that only two horses went to post but it’s good to win the race again. She is a nice mare and had a good race last time in Killeagh when third. She could head for a mares’ winners race next and possibly to the Cork Mares hunter chase over Easter.”
The winning handler who trains in Killylea outside Armagh reported; “He is a horse with lots of ability, but he has had his fair share of problems. Daire knows the horse and knew to keep after him the whole way; he gave him a great ride. I’m delighted with that and we will keep him at this level or go for a maiden hunter chase.”
Ridden in mid-division for much of the race the son of Portrait Gallery made steady progress into the race and made a challenge to dispute the lead at the last where he battled gamely to win by three lengths over Cosmic Flight.
Winning rider McConville commented; “He is a nice horse and was unlucky not to have collected before now. He has had problems with his jumping before, but we have done a lot of work with that. He really stayed on well and could head for a winners’ race now.”
Winning handler Pat Fahy reported; “She was going well at Tyrella when falling and came up against a very good mare when second at Kirkistown in a very fast race. She has been jumping and working very well at home and was second in a bumper in Wexford. We will have a think about what to do with her next.”
“He really runs well fresh and was on the button today. Mark said he felt great. He jumped better today and put in a great gutsy performance. We have three-weeks now to head for the hunter chase at Down Royal on Saint Patrick’s Day”, reported his winning handler Cosgrave.
“He has improved with every run and he has always stayed very well. The stiff course suited him, and he could develop into a nice big staying chaser. Derek (O’Connor) said he got his head in front on the run-in, but he idled a bit when he got to the front. He will be sold now”. stated McKeever.
Training his first winner of the season, Newry based Lennon remarked “He has really improved with time being by Winged Love. He had a great run at Loughbrickland in soft conditions and I thought he would go very well today. Declan (Lavery) gave him a lovely ride from the front. He will head to the sales now”.