The wonderful 13-year-old is a credit to Willie Mullins and this was, appropriately, his 13th win of a long and honourable career.
Kit Carson tried to make all, but Adamant Approach stalked him into the straight. Neither was particularly good over the second last, but Mullins’ charge was in front before the final fence and stayed on to hold his rival by a hard-earned length and a quarter.
A delighted Mullins remarked: “He’s only in two races at Galway at the moment, but will probably be put in five more.
“Prior to Galway, he will need another run and will be entered in the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary next Sunday.”
Mullins completed a double when Rosy Cyborg, ridden by his son Patrick, took the Hotel Europe Bumper.
The youngster rode a copybook race, tracking the leaders and then powering into the lead with less than furlongs to run to beat Lendrig cosily.
Commented Mullins senior: “We will put him in the winners’ of two bumper at Galway, but he’s only a four-year-old and I’d imagine it is more likely he will go jumping.”
Tommy Stack, having a fine season, especially with his juveniles, introduced another one in the impressive Ariege to outclass her rivals in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Median Auction Maiden.
“She’s a good tough filly, her mother (Kostroma) was very good”, said Fozzie Stack, representing his father.
“She could go somewhere for black type next, while the nursery at Galway is another option.”
Wayne Lordan pushed Ariege ahead at the furlong pole and she lengthened in style to beat Bunsen Burner unextended by seven lengths.
Dedo was the business in the ring, 11-8 from 5-2. But he clearly didn’t come on for his promising first outing at Roscommon and, after flattering early in the straight, found nothing when asked to go on by Declan McDonogh.
Danny O’Connell’s Topenhall, a good fourth in a handicap at Cork previously, redeemed the promise of that effort when taking the Bourn Vincent Killarney Racegoers’ Club Maiden Hurdle.
Robbie Power eased him ahead with well over a circuit to cover and Topenhall kept up the gallop to beat Janeylad with a bit in hand.
“We were probably holding onto him too much”, reported O’Connell. “I told Robbie to stride on if he wanted to. I was going to give the horse a little break, but he could now head for a handicap at Galway.”
Those who are on Pat Smullen to regain the jockeys’ championship have every reason to be optimistic. He took his total for the campaign to 44, six clear of Seamus Heffernan, with a power-packed performance aboard El Cerro in the O’Keeffe Marquees Rathmore Handicap.
The winner and Sonnium, partnered by another tremendous driver in Declan McDonogh, went toe-to-toe through the final two furlongs, with El Cerro prevailing by a short head.
Damien Byrne represented trainer, Joe Crowley, and said: “He will probably head for a mile and a half handicap at Galway. He has been schooled over hurdles and jumps well.”
Gerry Lynch’s High Diving is also on the Galway trail, following his easy success in the Killarney Avenue/Munster Joinery Handicap.
“He’s rated 49 and had to score here to get in at Galway”, said Lynch. “He will go for the race he won there two years ago.” That was a mile and a half race for horses rated between 52-78.
High Diving was given a splendid drive by Billy Lee, improving from behind to sweep clear inside the furlong pole to beat Dromhall Supreme by four lengths.
Desert Mile followed her recent victory at Bellewstown by taking the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Claiming Race under a fine drive from Shane Gorey.
She got a dream run up the inside to hit the front under two furlongs down and was then all out close home to hold Arcelie by a neck.
Gorey, however, was suspended for two days and Arcelie’s pilot, Martin Lane, for four days, for using their whips excessively.