Adam McNamara celebrating the Ebor win on Heartbreak City
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jack Haynes 4:11PM 20 AUG 2016
Report: York, Saturday
Betfred Ebor, 1m6f, 3yo+
LAST month’s Galway festival scorer Heartbreak City made history on the Knavesmire by becoming the first horse since the great Sea Pigeon in 1979 to carry more than 9st 4lb to victory in Europe’s richest handicap on a red-letter day for promising apprentice Adam McNamara.
Less than a month on from trainer Tony Martin and his legal team grappling in the High Court over Pyromaniac’s participation in the Galway Hurdle, the County Meath trainer was celebrating a 1-3 in the £280,000 Flat contest with Quick Jack also finishing in the placings.
20 runners rated within 11lb from top to bottom should have guaranteed a close run affair but it was quite the opposite. 19 jockeys were driving their mounts with all their worth with a furlong to run – and then there was McNamara.
The rising star in the saddle eased last month’s Galway Guinness Handicap Hurdle scorer into the lead at the furlong pole and the race, win purposes alone, was all but over.
It was left to Iain Jardine’s similarly admirable dual-purpose handicapper Shrewd to run on for second ahead of last year’s Galway Hurdle scorer Quick Jack and eventual fourth Battersea, while the Here For The Craic Partnership, the aptly-named owners of the winner, were celebrating.
Another big handicap winner towards the head of the market did not please bookmakers with Paddy Power halving the impressive scorer to 8-1 favourite for the Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on September 24.
There were scenes of sheer delight in the winner’s enclosure as connections marvelled at McNamara’s stylish display in the saddle and Martin was keen to wax lyrical about the rider, as well as thank Richard Fahey for his part to play in allowing McNamara to take the ride.
Martin said: “I thought the young lad rode a race of sheer brilliance. He sat and he waited and then he went. It was Aidan [Shiels, co-owner] who was shouting about this lad all along. We had him in mind for a long time but we didn’t say anything as we thought Richard [Fahey] would want him.
“Richard’s been brilliant to me and a lot of credit has to go to him for letting me use this lad. I owe him one. These lads have been with me since the very start and I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Martin’s commendable policy of providing young riders an important opportunity to grace the big stage also extended to seven lb claimer Oisin Orr, who steered Quick Jack into third from an unpromising position.
The winning trainer said: “Poor old Quick Jack threw his head coming out the stalls and missed the start by seven or eight lengths – so credit must go to Oisin (Orr) who gave him a lovely ride to get him as close as he did at the end.”
McNamara and Orr are two names who appear set to share the limelight on both sides of the Irish Sea in the years to come – something of which Martin is a master.