The tough eight-year-old, dropping back in trip, was driven clear by Niall McCullagh inside the final furlong to slam another veteran Kilmannin by six lengths, to the delight of his owner-trainer. McAteer commented: “we were afraid of the ground because, ideally, he wants quick ground. But he’s tough and straight-forward. And Niall, a great jockey, knows him well and knows exactly how to ride him. He’s won here before. And the handicapper has given him a chance.”
Ability N Delivery, which provided Mick Browne with his first training success when scoring over course and distance at the July meeting, was on the mark again when landing the five-furlong Golf Bag Handicap.
Ridden by champion apprentice Emmet McNamara, the four-year-old, which carries his trainer’s colours, disputed the lead throughout and, having shaken off Asamara at the furlong-pole had to dig deep to hold the late challenge of Gracious Girl by a head.
Apprentice Julie Burke, who partnered favourite Faynita to finish third, was subsequently banned for four days for failing to weigh in, a situation which caused her mount to be disqualified.
Champion apprentice elect and ‘Ebor’ hero Gary Carroll brought his seasonal tally (in Ireland) to 28 when first reserve Firm Foundations made all to beat Sugar Baby Love in the one-mile Thomas Jenkinson Memorial Maiden. A sting in the tail for Carroll was the one-day whip ban he picked up.
The daughter of Noverre is trained by Michael Mulvany, who commented: “she’s a tough filly, but a hard ride. So Gary has done really well on her. We’ve been trying to discover her best trip, but we have no firm plans for her.”
The famous red and green colours of the McGrath family were carried to victory by the Kevin Prendergast-trained Midnight Mover in the opening, five-furlong Irish Portable Cottages Nursery.
Having raced wide throughout, in a quest for better ground, the daughter of Bahamian Bounty needed all of Declan McDonogh’s strength in the saddle to see off favourite Money Trader (Chris Hayes) by a head. A Stewards Enquiry followed, but the result remained unchanged.
John McConnell, whose Benwilt Barney finished third to Dick Turpin in the big Tattersalls Sales race at Fairyhouse on Saturday, struck with another juvenile when Lyle Lady built on her solid run at Galway in the Tally Ho Stud 2-Y-0 Auction Maiden.
Ridden by apprentice Shane Foley, the Fruit Of Love filly ploughed through the testing ground to get the better of Lil Ella, prompting McConnell to comment: “we had problems with her temperament in the spring, but she has settled won well. She’s tough and genuine and will make a lovely three-year-old. So you won’t see much more of her this year. He half-brother was solid (for £77,000) in Doncaster yesterday.”
Successful in the race last year, eight-year-old Toberogan followed-up in the James Gogarty Stone Handicap, recording the shock of the night.