Rob James rides 300th winner

By Dan Walsh

The Ward Union point-to-point races took place today (Saturday) at Oldtown, Co. Meath where Killanne rider Rob James took the four-year-old maiden race on Jinko Blue and recorded his 300th winner ‘between the flags’.

ROB JAMES rode his 300th point-to-point winner at Oldcastle, Co. Meath, this afternoon.

Making the occasion extra special Jinko Blue, who was making his debut, is also handled by James for the Matchmaker Syndicate and won by one length beating his neighbour Colin Bowe’s Jersey De Brosses and Barry O’Neill.

Rob James won his first point-to-point on the Donnchadh Doyle trained Amber Hill at Tinahely in 2012, has also gained much success on the track, and has the Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr to his career credits. He rides regularly for Gordon Elliott.

In recent years he has been training some young horses and Jinko Blu was his second winner of the season and his tenth career success as a handler. So, what a milestone victory!

In other news, Colin Bowe is tonight back at the head of the handler’s championship following a double this afternoon bringing his seasonal total to 15.

Walks Like A Man in the James Grace colours was the two lengths winner of the maiden race for five-year-old geldings and Annalecka had five lengths to spare in the maiden race for five-year-olds plus mares contest. Both were well ridden by Barry O’Neill.

Donnchadh Doyle was also in winning form. He saddled Er Dancer for the Monbeg Syndicate who scored by four lengths with Alan Harvey in the saddle in the Open Race confined to novice riders.

Sunday racing features The Island Hunt fixture at Ballycrystal, Kiltealy where they have 79 entries and the first race is off at 2pm. “Good, yielding in places along the back straight” is the official ‘going’ overnight and tomorrow will be a mainly dry day with temperatures highest at 12 degrees Celsius. The host hunt is anticipating a large crowd.

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