McDonald claims the City Cup
In what was a quiet week for the Wexford contingent in Britain, Pat McDonald from Taghmon had to wait until Saturday for the highlight - winning the 80,000 pounds City Cup handicap on the all-weather at Chelmsford by a head on Mark Johnston's Masham Star (8/1) with a great ride.
On Tuesday, he saw the other side of the game with a busy but fruitless day. He had three rides in Ripon in the afternoon but a second on Rockliffe (8/1) behind a 25/1 winner was all he had to show. He went on to Carlisle that evening for a single ride in the last on Napeta but failed to figure. It was one of those days.
Jimmy Fortune, the Ferns veteran, is working his way back into contention after quite a long injury lay-off and he had a nice winner in his only ride at Bath on Thursday, aboard Good Way Off (11/4) for Luca Cumani. Fortune never panicked after a stumble leaving the stalls and worked his way through the field with a cool ride.
Unusally enough, four members of the small Wexford contingent were in action at Wolverhampton on Thursday evening and did quite well. Pat Dobbs (Enniscorthy) was a comfortable winner on the good priced Power Surge (12/1) for Ralph Beckett, while Pat McDonald was pipped by the minimum nose on Newstead Abbey (9/2jf) for Michael Herrington, behind Hurricane Rock (8/1).
Jimmy Quinn (New Ross) showed all his experience in a great ride on Rouge Nuage (12/1) in the seven furlong handicap to get up by in the dying strides of a blanket finish where only short heads separated each of the first four. His son, Josh, had an unplaced ride in the last.
On Sunday, Pat Dobbs had one ride at Brighton and finished a good second on Ralph Beckett's Inconceivable (7/4) behind Pete So High (5/6f), ridden for Richard Hannon by Silvestre De Sousa. Over the jumps, Tom O'Brien had two rides and Daryl Jacob one at Worcester, without success.