Riverdee Stable’s Gibralfaro, making his first U.S. start, turned back a surging Lord Justice to win Saturday’s $35,000 Block House, the featured contest of the 72nd annual Tryon Block House in Columbus, N.C.
Ridden by Sean McDermott, Gibralfaro battled with Rosbrian Farm’s Sixty Five to the last fence of the allowance hurdle before putting away the French-bred ridden by Ross Geraghty.
Bruton Street-US’s Lord Justice found another gear in the stretch of Green Creek Race Course and closed stoutly under Jack Doyle to challenge Gibralfaro, but his bid fell a neck short at the line. Sixty Five finished third, five lengths farther back.
Gibralfaro and Lord Justice, both Irish-breds, are trained by Jack Fisher, the reigning champion trainer by wins and purses. Gilbralfaro, making his first Stateside start after a career in England, ran the Block House’s 2 1/8 miles in 3:55 2/5 on firm turf.
Trainer Richard Valentine and jockey Shane Crimin combined for a double at Tryon Block House. They won the afternoon’s first race, a maiden hurdle, with Magalen O. Bryant’s Bob’n for Silver. Riding the trainer’s Life Said, Crimin went to the winner’s circle in the afternoon’s ratings handicap hurdle.