Always close to the pace under Declan McDonogh, the progressive three-year-old edged ahead with a furlong and a half to race and ran on strongly to beat even-money favourite Ezima by a length and a quarter.
Trainer Kevin Prendergast was not present but winning owner Norman Ormiston stated: “We still don’t know what happened at Galway. He just didn’t perform, but was fine afterwards. Kevin decided to give him a break and we’ve always believed in the horse. He proved himself again today.”
Ormiston added: “He’ll be trained for the Melbourne Cup next year. It’s a case of have horse, will travel.”
The John Oxx-trained Dahindar proved a smooth winner of the opening five-furling maiden, justifying the promise of his second to subsequent Group 3 winner Jupiter Pluvius at the Curragh. Having missed the break, odds-on favourite Dahindar was soon tracking the leaders and, having edged past the speedy La Sylvia approaching the furlong-pole, stretched clear under Michael Kinane to win impressively by three and a half lengths.
John Oxx, on only his second visit to the new track, explained: “He has improved with each run and liked the surface. His grand-dam, Dafayna. won the Cork and Orrery. This colt should make a nice sprinter next year.”
Oxx and Kinane were expected to complete a juvenile double in the mile maiden but Thoroughly Red, having encountered some traffic problems, could get no nearer than third in a three-way photo-finish, behind 20/1 shot Memphis City and Croi Mo Ri. Winning trainer Andy Oliver said: “He was trained in England by Jeremy Noseda and has been gelded since he left there. I only have him about six weeks and, while I knew he was working well at home, that was a bit of a surprise.”
Ger Lyons continued his remarkable record of saddling a winner at every meeting at Dundalk since it opened when Mist And Stone, ridden by Kevin Manning, prevailed in a blanket-finish to the Ulster Bank Newry Business Centre Fillies Handicap.
“The filly’s owner died since her last run,” said Lyons, “It’s just a pity she wasn’t here to see this. The filly was due a change of luck and deserved her win.”
Fran Berry continued his rich vein of form when brining Titus Academy with a strong late surge to foil favourite Gandolfini in the Ulster Bank Wealth Handicap. Martin Maguire, trainer Pat Flynn’s representative, said: “He needs good ground and got bogged down in the heavy at Tralee last time. Fran said he enjoyed that surface and that he’ll win a few more. He might stay at seven furlongs and will come back here again before the end of the season.”
Berry completed a double when First In Line landed the nursery.