Lonergan trains his first winner

Mon 1st Jan 2018, 14:16

Pump Road and Andrew Ring clear the last from Terrible Beauty and Paul Townend
© Photo Healy Racing

County Tipperary handler John Gerard Lonergan trained his first winner when Pump Road toughed it out well to win the Ryan's Racecourse Services Handicap Hurdle at Tramore.

The assessor had plenty of these well-matched as several held good claims heading down into the dip on the approach to two out.

However, with first-time cheek-pieces on, the Andrew Ring-ridden bottom-weight Pump Road found enough on the run-in to defeat Mlily by two and a quarter lengths.

It was then a head and a neck to Terrible Beauty and Ask Heather in third and fourth.

Lonergan also owns Pump Road and he said: "I'm shaking like a leaf after that. That's my first winner and I'm based in Grange near Clonmel. I use Tom Keating's gallop.

"He was wearing cheek-pieces for the first time today, and they helped. He is a little bit of a monkey, a likeable rogue like myself!

"I ride out below with Mouse Morris and I told him this morning I'd have my first winner today. I have two in at the moment, I have another Darsi mare.

"I rode a winner here for Michael Hourigan on Us And Mary (in 1993), I rode a few winners for Michael. I was a while with Mary Reveley as well. I was with them all, every stable bar Bethlehem!"

The Turf Club Veterinary Officer examined Conna Cross, trained by James Joseph Mangan, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be post race normal.

(DM & EM)

THE IRISH TIMES