Article by Darren O’Conghaile

Michael Cunningham, once told Colin McBratney never to be afraid of one horse as if you where you would never run anything.

Horses won’t win standing in their stable that’s a sure thing though in these ambiguous times with the Covid-19 epidemic swooping the entire world – McBratney’s must sit-and-suffer like the rest of us. It is a case of being all dressed up with nowhere to go.

McBratney’s had he has something of a red-letter day at Downpatrick racecourse (The Ulster National Day), the Sunday prior to Irish racing was called-off – he had a 20/1 winner on the card in the shape of the Cathal McGovern owned Benefit North and a few eye-catching placed efforts which ran well above expectations for good measure – there was undoubtedly plenty of positives on Sun, 22nd March for the Crossgar based handler.

13:40 Downpatrick - 22 March 2020 - Results - Horse Racing ...

Personally, I was awe-struck with the 4th placed effort of Dilly Filly in the 1.40pm race on the card– this horse has scarcely raised a glove in public throughout the winter finishing 17-7-17, nothing notable, yet in this competitive event she really verified with the better ground on offer, her poor form could be left well behind her this summer. Dilly Filly really caught my eye sticking on with purpose under a potent front-running ride by fledgling young rider jockey Dylan Johnston – she was continuously to the forefront from the onset though a few novicey errors made her lose momentum at a critical time in the concluding stages of the race.

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In my opinion I don’t think she got up the ‘daunting’ Downpatrick hill – in a less challenging track she could really be hard to peg back from the front, she appeared to be galloping them too submission prior to tiring late on; she outran her betting odds of 100/1 with all things considered the run was relatively thought-provoking for me – she is a winner waiting to happen.

This daughter of Stowaway was an in-expensive buy from the Tatterstalls Derby sale back in 2017 for €5,000

With three runs in point-to-points, finishing 7-6-8, Dilly Filly hadn’t been showing much in that jurisdiction but at home the word is was she was ‘working very well’ , given the benefit of the doubt she was still very lightly raced – time is very much still own her side,.

We spoke to Colin McBratney about this evidently ground rejuvenated mare, he stated; “Dilly filly had been disappointing all winter on heavy ground so we thought would change few things, the ground perhaps biggest factor in her running a bit better and thankfully she showed us something like we see at home from her – she will pay her way before long with any luck”.

We questioned McBratney about his plans for this summer; “As far as summer goes I’ve five ready to go on the flat when racing returns, and the national horses are out at grass at present but with a bit of luck they be in again at end of May/June to be prepared for a National hunt campaign”