IN Racing
Grand National Festival - Day 3 Review
Mark Oulaghan trains both National winners
August 14, 2023
Mark Oulaghan and Portia Matthews post race with Berry The Cash
  • Grand National’s Day 2023 belonged, as it so often has in the past, to Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan.  Mark went into the day with a combine total of 11 Grand National Steeplechases and Hurdle races.  At days end that total was 13.

  • The days feature the 148th running of the Racecourse Hotel sponsored Grand National Steeplechase was convincingly won by last years winner WEST COAST. The result was a tonic for part owner and racing stalwart Ron Williamson who was in hospital and unable to attend.  Ron races the eight-year-old with wife Jennifer, son Henry and daughter-in-law Gabby.  WEST COAST became the fourth horse trained by Oulaghan to win consecutive Grand National Steeplechases.  Shaun Fannin rode the winner as he did the year before.  First day winner PRINCE TURBO ran second with CARNABY third.

  • The Hospitality NZ Canterbury 133rd Grand National Hurdles was another Oulaghan triumph with BERRY THE CASH winning the race in his first season as a jumper.  His rider, Portia Matthews, also in the early stages of her jumps racing career was entrusted with the ride having been much involved in the seven-year-olds preparation as an Oulaghan employee. BERRY THE CASH beat the Sydenham Hurdles winner HAPPY STAR after being third to that runner on the first day with OBRIGADO third.

  • Riverton trainer Kelvin Tyler and Krishna Mudhoo combined to win the main flat race the HeatStore Open.

  • KOPUA improved on his first day sixth to defeat Winter Cup placegetter CONOR O’CEIRIN in the open sprint.  Kevin Myers trainer two winners on the programme with VALLEY KING the other.  Myers also owns VALLEY KING who took his record to three straight wins after a debut fourth placing.

  • The north south battle on the last day went 7-3 in favour of North Island trained runners.

  • South Island star Tina Comignaghi rode a treble and northern based Irishman Joe Doyle rode a brace.