Equestrian: Drain stays on upward curve with Fine Filly in Dundalk
Fine Filly lived up to her name when clinching the opening leg of the Chippison Spring Tour Grand Prix series for Conor Drain at Ravensdale in Dundalk yesterday.
The mare galloped home well over a second quicker than Clem McMahon's second-placed ride Valentino in the 10-horse jump-off against the clock, while Paddy O'Donnell steered Orman into third ahead of John Floody and Ashbourne in fourth.
Drain (17), who also claimed yesterday's Leading Young Rider prize, produced five impressive national Grand Prix victories last year and has been building quite a reputation for himself over the past few seasons. The Chippison series, named after the great Irish-bred stallion produced and ridden by Co Clare's Marie Burke, is jointly sponsored by Burke and her husband John along with Horse Sport Ireland and the Showjumpers' Club.
Meanwhile at Vestfold in Norway on Saturday, John Hickey steered Artiq to win the Medium Tour final but had no luck in yesterday's Two-Star Grand Prix, in which he downed two fences in the opening round.
And at Neumunster Three-Star in Germany, Dermott Lennon finished sixth with Hallmark Elite in Saturday's Grand Prix qualifier.
However he was hampered by a single first-round error in yesterday's Grand Prix to finish 17th, while Denis Lynch's faster four-fault result with Abbervail left the Tipperary man in 11th.