McKenna off the mark
Liam McKenna and Yachvili
McKenna is a step-son of the winning trainer, Jimmy Lambe. He's from Blackwatertown in County Armagh and he's just turned seventeen. Having twenty five flapping winners under his belt, the teenager has had twenty seven or eight rides over hurdles and five on the flat. He still claims ten on the level.
"Monica, his mother, will be very proud. We're trying to learn him his trade and his future is over jumps.
"This horse has been a good servant. I didn't give him much of a chance on that ground but Liam gave him a good ride.
"He's a tricky customer so Liam did it well. He works hard, he schools over fences and hurdles and he does all I ask. All the bollocking he gets is justified now!"
Meanwhile the man of the moment himself said: "It felt good to get the first winner. Hopefully I'll get a few more rides now. I always thought I was going to get there and I came up on the outside for the good ground as he's a good ground horse." (MG & EM)
The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle at Downpatrick developed into a tactical battle and Paul Townend struck first and decisively aboard Inish Island to land the spoils.