Jack on mark for Howley
OWNER Tom Howley Jnr had a day to remember yesterday with a big-race double on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Ask Jack landed the Listed www.corkracecourse.ie Navigation Stakes under Wayne Lordan at about the same time as Russian War was doing the business at Cheltenham with Paul Carberry up. The Galway owner also had Supercede finish runner-up in the opener at Prestbury Park.
Tote Galway Mile hero Ask Jack had to be tough in the Cork feature as he slugged it out from some way down with Separate Ways. Once he'd got the better of that one, Hujaylea arrived with his bid but the Joe Murphy-trained winner found more to prevail by half a length with a short head and a head back to the aforementioned Separate Ways and Across The Rhine.
Murphy, completing a double himself following the earlier success of White Daffodil, said: "That was a great performance and we're delighted with the horse. He is genuine -- very tough. He has options now -- hurdles, Group company or the sales in Newmarket. We'll bring him to the sales anyway and see what he makes. He is a diamond so it'll be easy to polish him up."
At Downpatrick, former winning point-to-pointer Traffic Article hacked up in the two mile six furlong maiden hurdle in the hands of five-pound claimer Keith Donoghue.
The six-year-old gelding won by seven lengths from 6/4 favourite Good Time Donie which threw away his chance with a terrible blunder at the first which left him out the back of the field for most of the race.
Robbie McNally, representing winning trainer Gordon Elliott, said: "You had to fancy him today on his form in the book. We'll look at a novice hurdle in England for him next perhaps."