Delvino with delighted connections after his Grade Three victory at Naas (PA)
13 March 2022

Landmark first winner for Mark McCrory

13 March 2022

Delvino gave trainer Mark McCrory his first winner as a trainer with a battling performance in the Bar One Racing Directors Plate Novice Chase at Naas.

The seven-year-old mare saw off the attentions of the Jessica Harrington-trained Lifetime Ambition to land the Grade Three in the hands of Richie Deegan.

Jeremys Flame led her three rivals for most of the two and a half mile journey until the evens favourite was passed by the two principals at the second last.

Having the rail helped Delvino (9-2) while Lifetime Ambition was towards the centre of the course before moving closer to his rival.

Delvino held a narrow lead over the last and asserted in the closing stages to score by three-quarters of a length.

That’s my first winner and to be in a Grade Three – I’m over the moon

McCrory took over the training of the Pat Conway-owned mare from Dermot McLoughlin this season and had shown promise in two outings for the Northern Ireland-based trainer.

McCrory said: “That’s my first winner and to be in a Grade Three – I’m over the moon!

“I’ve been with the owner in and out for nearly seven years now and rode a winner at Down Royal (in a hunter chase) for them on El Grande.

“I started off in Stephen McConville’s when I was younger and rode a winner on the track and in a point-to-point.”

Gordon Elliott enjoyed a first and last race double with Jack In The Box and Liberty Dance.

Gordon Elliott enjoyed a double at Naas (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Jack In The Box (11-4 joint-favourite) wore down long-time leader Kilbree Warrior to open his account in the Bar One Racing Prince Boosts All Favourites At Cheltenham Maiden Hurdle.

Kilbree Warrior made the running to the final flight where Davy Russell delivered Jack In The Box got on terms at the last and go on to score by three lengths.

Russell said: “He’s a big raw horse and he has a lovely attitude. He’s only five and you don’t want to ask him too much but going further is something that could be explored in time.”

Liberty Dance made hard work of landing the odds in the Bar One Racing Prices Available On Day 1 From Cheltenham Mares (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.

It was only in the final half-furlong the 1-5 favourite shrugged aside 33-1 outsider Saratoga Lass to win by three and three-quarter lengths under Jamie Codd.

“This winners’ bumper is always a muddling race but in fairness once she got going into top gear the last furlong was fine. She won snug enough in the end,” said the winning rider.

“We’ll see what Gordon wants to do. She probably wants two and a half miles and she’ll get it over jumps next year.”

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