York: Heartbreak City breezes to historic Ebor win

Adam McNamara celebrating the Ebor win on Heartbreak City

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Heartbreak City breezes to historic Ebor win 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 allotted more than 9st 4lb to triumph in Europe’s richest Flat handicap on a memorable 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 first and third in this £280,000 contest, with Quick Jack also finishing in the frame.

Twenty runners rated within 11lb from top to bottom should have guaranteed a close-run affair but it was quite the opposite. No fewer than 19 jockeys were driving their mounts for all their worth with a furlong to run – and then there was McNamara.

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The rising star in the saddle eased last month’s Galway handicap hurdle scorer into the lead at the furlong pole and the race 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 winner Quick Jack and 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, and Heartbreak City was cut to 8-1 favourite (from 16) for the Betfred Cesarewitch by the race sponsors.

McNamara brilliance

There were scenes of sheer delight in the winner’s enclosure as connections, who you would rate as long odds-on to have placed at the very least a small wager, marvelled at McNamara’s stylish display and Martin was keen to wax lyrical about the rider, as well as thank Richard Fahey for his part 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 owners 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 7lb claimer Oisin Orr, who steered Quick Jack into third from an unpromising position.

The trainer added: “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, 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.

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