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Bangor: Barton Nic carries off prize for young trainer.

Byline: Will O'Hanlon

PAUL KEANE would have been in a small minority as he relished the sight of the rain falling on Bangor, but his delight at the inclement conditions was explained after his Barton Nic ran away with the selling hurdle under David Crosse.

"My horse wants it soft and I was persuaded to keep him going over the past few weeks in the hope that we would get some suitable ground before things firm up again for the summer," said Keane. "Everything came right for us today, and that's Barton Nic's second win for us since I bought him for just 1,800gns last year."

Keane, who learned his trade with pointers and Arab horses, is in his first season with a full licence after starting up last November and training four winners last term.

"I've got 26 boxes at my stables, and am confident of filling them this season," said the young trainer, who operates from Limpley Stoke just outside Bath.

Estate agent Christy Kilgour realised a lifetime's ambition when winning the hunter chase on Executive Park, a horse he bought himself and sent to Charlie Egerton to prepare him for a race such as this.

Kilgour, 36, of Hungerford, said: "This is my very first ride. We decided to miss out point-to-points altogether and go straight to a hunter chase, and everything went right on the night."

Favourite Jan's Dream was an early casualty in the novices' handicap chase, clipping the heels of Satanas (who had been interfered with by the hanging Red Alert Man) on the first bend and unseating Andrew Thornton.

The race also had an eventful ending. Mystic Ridge looked home and hosed until getting the final fence all wrong and paying the penalty, leaving Brandsby Stripe, trained by Peter Beaumont and ridden by David O'Meara, to come home the fortunate winner.

Paul Nicholls, who has been making merry at Punchestown this week with a couple of big prizes, was again in the money here as Extra Jack, whom he trains for Sir Robert Ogden, just got the better of Arctic Fancy in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase.

Henrietta Knight fielded the winner of the novice hurdle in Howrwenow, a former Irish pointer who revelled in the ground and made virtually every yard of the three miles under Robert Biddlecombe.

Speed Venture, trained by John Mackie and ridden by Seamus Durack, finished strongly to see off Silver Buzzard in the handicap hurdle, though backers of the runner-up could count themselves a shade unlucky after their horse had to fend off the attentions of the hanging Storm Prince approaching two out and lost a bit of momentum as a result.

Henry Oliver, rider of Storm Prince, was judged by the stewards to be guilty of improper riding in that he had intentionally ridden across Silver Buzzard and taken his line. It seemed a harsh judgement as it did appear as if the horse was the main culprit in this case and got little encouragement from his rider in hanging to right, but Oliver was suspended for five days, (May 12-16) inclusive.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 3, 2003
Previous Article:Open Check: Bluebell set to leave her Stow rivals trailing.
Next Article:Sedgefield: Royal Castle proves his versatility with chase win.

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