DONERAILE trainer John Joe Walsh, and his stable amateur Ambrose McCurtin, from Fermoy, were in splendid double winning form at a well attended Clonmel races last Thursday, where they won the opening 2ml4f maiden hurdle with 7/1 chance Love On Top, and later the qualified riders 2ml handicap hurdle on 9/1 chance Hard Bought.
On the former, which McCurtin also owns, he excelled as he was always well placed. Making smooth progress to track to the leaders three out he disputed two out, and a fine leap at the last secured victory, as he stayed on well to win easily by almost two lengths from Lily of the Moor.
"Ambrose gave him a great ride," exclaimed the trainer afterwards, "but I suppose when you own him yourself it give you an extra incentive."
McCurtin was seen at his brilliant best on Hard Bought, which tracked the leaders, making smooth progress to press the leaders two out, but despite a mistake when headed soon rallied, and in a splendid powerful drive from the saddle, got up near the line for a thrilling short head win from Famous Ballerina.
"Ambrose is on fire today and was very good on him," a delighted trainer explained. "He is a good, tough horse and stayed on well. He is more of a chaser than a hurdler, but we will run in a few more hurdles first."