TAYLORS THREE ROCK, owned and trained by Eric McNamara of Beechmount Stables in Rathkeale, led from flagfall to finish to land the €11,500 South of Ireland Mares’ Handicap Hurdle over two miles at Listowel on Bank Holiday Monday.
Jockey Mark McDonagh adopted an aggressive front-running ride on the 16/1 shot. The pair made all and were soon well clear of the field, only for the deficit to be reduced somewhat three furlongs from home and further again nearing the last but McDonagh was strong on the seven-year-old mare.
She hit the line with a length and a quarter in hand from a keeping-on Red Ball of Fire (8/1), with the 11/4 favourite Betty Dutton a further two lengths behind in third.
This was Taylors Three Rock’s breakthrough success on her 10th start across the Flat, bumpers and hurdle races.
McNamara told irishracing.com: “She was second here in a bumper three years ago and we sold her, and she went to England where it didn’t work out for her. We got her back for nothing, I have her four months so it was her first run back and I’m over the moon.”
“She has ability but is very, very temperamental and we had to walk her around before the start to keep her calm. We went left-handed today as her last good run was here but after watching her today, she’ll definitely go back right-handed next time.”