Kennedy underlines talent
WILLIAM KENNEDY reminded everyone of the talent which made him champion conditional jockey by riding a winner for the in-form Henrietta Knight at Lingfield yesterday.
The Kildare native might have lost the ride aboard Paul Webber's Gold Cup hopeful Time For Rupert, but his success aboard Ballygarvey showed that he's not intent on dwelling upon the past.
Knight's string has been going through a mini-revival of late and the 5/6 favourite's hard-earned victory in the novice hurdle was another lift to the trainer.
With a howling gale driving into the faces of the field up the home straight and heavy ground sapping the legs, Kennedy set a sensible pace on the market leader and Ballygarvey responded to his rider's urgings to fend off the challenge of runner-up Fermoyle Flyer.
"He's a sweet little horse and I'm very pleased for the owners," said Knight. "He has been point-to-pointing so we'll have to decide whether he goes over fences this season or next."
Conor O'Farrell was another Irish jockey on the mark as he guided Ashbrittle to a battling success over Charm School in the maiden hurdle.
At Sedgefield, it proved a red-letter day for fledgling trainer Will Kinsey as his first two runners as a trainer both won for a 260/1 double.
Ridden by Charlie Huxley, the 28/1 outsider Alpha Victor powered through the mud to beat Donald McCain's Saga De Tercey by 11 lengths.
"I was only granted my licence about two weeks ago," said Kinsey. "I've been Donald McCain's assistant for a year and I learned a lot off him. He was the first one to come over so it's nice to get one over on him."
Kykate (8/1), also ridden by Huxley, was next to strike in the two and half mile handicap hurdle. Kinsey nearly celebrated a first-day treble as his final representative, Gwladys Street, finished third in the bumper.