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Sage Conseil makes a winning bumper debut for McConnell

John McConnell sent out Sage Conseil to win the bumper at Kilbeggan. John McConnell sent out Sage Conseil to win the bumper at Kilbeggan.
© Photo Healy Racing

Sage Conseil made a winning racecourse debut for trainer John McConnell when staying on best to take the concluding Follow Kilbeggan Racecourse On Instagram INH Flat Race at Kilbeggan.

A well bred gelding whose two half-brothers also won their bumpers before progressing into black type horses, the son of Sageburg was always prominent under jockey Alex Harvey before being sent on two furlong from home.

With the odds on favourite Steppingstone eventually pulled up) failing to give his running, it was the Denis Murphy trained Thief Of The Night who emerged as the chief threat to the McConnell gelding inside the last furlong.

However, Sage Conseil powered clear in the last 150 yards to win by three-and-three-quarter lengths.

John McConnell, “It wasn’t unexpected, we liked him at home.

“He’d been working with horses that ran well in bumpers the last couple of weeks so we thought he’d run well.

“He had a racecourse gallop in Navan about a month ago but he’s a light-framed horse that doesn’t take much training so we freshened him up.

“I’m delighted for my sister (Debbie, owner) as she has been very patient with him. It’s nearly two years since we bought him but he’s needed all that time.

“He’s a fun horse that should pay his way. He’d have no problem jumping a hurdle, I’d say he’d be very slick over them.”

Additional reporting by Alan Magee.

About John O'Riordan
John has worked for the Press Association since 2022. He also writes a weekly column for The Irish Field and is a regular contributor to the Irish Racing Yearbook. He has previously written for the Racing Post, Irish Examiner and Irish Daily Mirror. He has been involved in racing for over three decades; having experience as a syndicate member, sole owner and breeder.