CONNA trainer Jimmy Mangan combined with his talented son Pat to win the featured Graham Norris Memorial handicap hurdle at Clonmel last Thursday, with the well supported 6/1 to 4/1 chance Trucking All Night owned by the popular Conna Enclosure Syndicate.
The former winning point-to-pointer closed in fourth with a circuit to race, and led on the rails three out. He was strongly challenged by Catch Me before the last but Mangan dug deep, and getting a great response from his mount, stayed on strongly to win by a length and a half and land some tasty bets in the process.
Trainer Mangan explained: "We were pleased with his last run at Listowel and Pat said to step him up to three miles. He is a great jumper, so a novice chase is only around the corner, but we will probably contest another hurdle first."
Meanwhile, another Conna-based trainer Eamon Gallagher produced a splendid training performance at Clonmel races on Thursday, where his charge, Backinthere, nicely supported from 6/1 to 4/1, landed the 2ml4f beginners chase in great style, under a quite outstanding drive by Kilworth jockey Adrian Heskin.
Taken to the front from flagfall, she made what appeared to be a very costly mistake at the second across the top of the track, which could have ended the chances of a lesser talented runner. Heskin, however, proved what an outstanding horseman he is as he sat tight, never panicked, and gradually got her back into a swinging rhythm to be right in contention a close third with a circuit to race. Sent to the front before the second last, she was soon strongly pressed, but stayed on well on the run in to win convincingly by 1 ¾ lengths from Back in a Tick.