By Dan Walsh
Veteran Tomhaggard amateur jockey Benny Walsh topped off a brilliant week at Punchestown races today (Saturday) riding his second winner of the festival over the unique banks’ course on Hurricane Darwin (22/1) in the Cross Country Chase.
Trained at Ballycrystal, Bunclody, by Cormac Farrell, Hurricane Darwin went to the front two from home and had three and a half lengths to spare at the finish.
This was his first outing for new trainer Cormac Farrell and indeed new owner Douglas Taylor, breeder of Samcro.
“I’ve only two or three for the track and two of them ran this week, we mostly train point-to-pointers and breeze-up horses. It’s a big team effort and I have to say thanks to all the team at home,” said Farrell afterwards, and he added; “Benny was brilliant on him and to get two in the week is brilliant for him.”
Benny Walsh won the Ladies Cup on Vital Island (7/2) for trainer Richard O’Keeffe, Newtown, Taghmon on Tuesday – the first day of the five-day festival which saw the crowds back at the popular Kildare track since 2019 due to the Covid-19 lockdown.