King Of Aran and Danny Mullins
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
It is eight years since the Michael Grassick trained King Of Aran gained his maiden success and today rewarded connections with a first win in five years, as the gelding ended a barren spell to win the Ivy Bar Newtownards Handicap Hurdle at Downpatrick.
The ten year old gelding, who first won as a two year old in 2009, was today ridden by Danny Mullins and overcame a final flight mistake when beating Perisan Wind by three and three parts of a length.
Afterwards jockey Mullins said “he had a little pipe-opener on the Flat the last day since I rode him and Michael (Grassick) was quite happy with him. I've ridden a lot of winners for him on the Flat before: could I convince him to start training more jumpers is the next thing!
"He was a little idle in front (at the last). Normally when you get one rolling here you keep them going but I was sitting with Luke (Dempsey on Persian Wind) to try and keep a bit of company. A bit of company for another 100 yards did me no harm at all."
King Of Aran’s previous win was in the 2012 Amateur Derby at the Curragh when Michael Grassick’s father and namesake, now Chief Executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, was his trainer.
Quotes from Michael Graham