Sunday 26 January 2020

Wellforth ends drought with Imperial success

Thomas Kelly

There was a minor shock in the feature event at Cork as 7/1 chance Wellforth landed the Imperial Call Chase.

Odds-on favourite Give Us A Hand appeared to have the race in safe keeping when cruising to the front under Adam O'Neill but he made a bad blunder at the third-last fence and unshipped his jockey.

That left Wellforth in front but, as he has gone over a year without a win, Paul Gilligan's charge just had a little think about it.

That allowed Saddler's Native another chance but Barry Cash managed to keep Wellforth in front for a two-and-a-quarter-length win.

"It wasn't a great race but it's grand to be winning it," said Gilligan. "I'm thrilled for Barry, that is his first winner for us. He had been a massive help to us as our horses have been very sick over the last year and a half. They have been poisoned sick.

"Barry has been riding work for us and I was more than happy to have him aboard. The winner is nothing to get excited about and he will stay in handicap chases now."

Elsewhere, the Grade C Friday Evening Racing at Cork Racecourse Handicap Hurdle produced a thrilling finish to what was an incident-packed race.

Carrigmartin (8/1), for trainer Eddie Harty with Niall Madden aboard, just hung on to deny He'llberemembered (12/1) under Shane Butler.

Harty's seven-year-old was recording the sixth victory of his career.

Irish Independent

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