Eddie O'Connell, Noel McParlan and El Grande
©Healy Racing Photos
Eight-year-old El Grande has only seen action three times, but he's got the talent as he added to a point-to-point win, and hunter chase second placing, by taking the East Down Pt To Pt Committee Hunters Chase at Downpatrick in the hands of Noel McParlan.
El Grande's strong finishing second placing, four weeks earlier, over further at this course, was obviously fresh in the memory of punters who sent the son of Almutawakel off the 5/2 joint favourite.
He vied for market supremacy with Island Master. That one disappointed though, finishing last, as El Grande saw off Cadawill (7s this morning into 3/1) by three and a quarter lengths.
There was also money about for the outsider, Serious Times (25s this morning into 10s) but that pace-setter eventually faded into fourth.
Jim Dreaper has care of El Grande for his long-standing owner, Mrs Pat Conway, and the trainer was on leading-up duty in the aftermath here.
Mr D. O'Connor, rider of Island Master, trained by W.J. Burke, reported to the Stewards' Secretaries that his mount slipped into the first fence and never travelled thereafter.
P.G.Coffey, trainer of Mags Bill, reported to the Clerk of Scales that his charge scoped wrong post race.
The Turf Club Veterinary Officer examined Island Master, trained by W.J. Burke, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be slightly stiff post race.
The Stewards received a report from Ms Inge D'haese M.R.C.V.S, Turf Club Veterinary Officer, in relation to the conduct of W.J. Burke, trainer, while she was carrying out a post race examination of his charge Island Master at the request of the Stewards.
Evidence was heard from Ms Inge D'haese who stated that she felt intimidated by W.J. Burke during the course of this examination.
W.J. Burke accepted the complaint and stated that his actions were completely out of order.
He apologised to Ms D'haese for his unacceptable behaviour.
Having considered the report, the Stewards were satisfied that the conduct of W.J. Burke was in breach of Rule 272 and consequently fined him €250 having taken his excellent previous record into consideration.
(MG & EM)