Bangalore A Diamond Again Over 6f At Dundalk

Fri 15th Feb 2013, 19:18

Bangalore Diamond (left) just nails Sophies Echo
©Healy Racing Photos
He's won twice previously over the course and distance by a head but Bangalore Diamond brought up the hat-trick tonight by just a short-head in the Irish Stablestaff Association Awards 23rd February Handicap at Dundalk.

A son of the now French-based stallion, Elusive City, the victorious top-weight had Ben Curtis (won on the five-year-old once previously) in the saddle.

The pair formed a determined partnership (Curtis got a 1-day whip ban for excessive frequency) as they ran down the front-runner, Sophies Echo, in the last stride.

Tom McCourt trains Bangalore Diamond for Sarah Foran and Barry Doyle and the Stamullen handler explained: "I've seen him travel better but he stuck at it well from a furlong and a half out.

"He got very upset here last time and I'll maybe come back with him in two weeks here." (MG & EM)

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.

THE IRISH TIMES