Hogan delight at British first
Irish trainer-jockey Denis Hogan was delighted to saddle his first winner on British soil as he guided Benalex Park to victory at Musselburgh.
The County Tipperary-based handler, who has enjoyed previous success in Britain in the saddle, has had only a handful of previous runners outside of Ireland and Benalex Park was joined on the trip to Scotland by stable companion Empresario.
While the latter was out of luck in the opening Lauderdale Pony Club Maiden Hurdle, finishing a creditable fifth, Hogan was in the winner's enclosure an hour later as 14-1 shot Benalex Park got the better of Pass Muster by a length and three-quarters in the 32Red Casino Handicap Hurdle.
He said: "We picked this race out a while ago, so it has been the plan and we were hoping he would run well.
"We came for the ground really, which was good to soft when we declared. Obviously it ended up a bit softer than ideal, but it's not as testing here as it is at other tracks, it doesn't get as deep, and he got away with it.
"I came over to ride at Musselburgh a few years ago. I came over the night before and the meeting was called off. The only other time I came was when I led up a horse for Charlie Swan, so it's great to have a winner here.
"It's also my first winner in Britain as a trainer, which is nice.
"There aren't many opportunities at home. Every maiden hurdle seems to have a superstar in it, so you have to go down the handicap route, let horses find their level and we'll go wherever we have to.
"Hopefully one day we'll get a few better class horses in the yard."
A trainer more used to travelling with his growing string is County Antrim-based Stuart Crawford, who enjoyed a double at Musselburgh on Wednesday and saddled two more winners at Ayr on Thursday.
He was represented by 3/1 favourite Solidago in the Mackie Motors Brechin Handicap Hurdle, but after committing a fair way from home, he was eventually beaten 12 lengths into second by Hartforth.