Blue Moon shines again for Ryan at Dundalk

BLUE MOON provided trainer Kevin Ryan with his sixth success at Dundalk when leading home a British-trained one-two in the featured Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Handicap in Dundalk last night.

Ridden by Declan McDonogh and carrying the familiar colours of Guy Reed, Blue Moon stretched clear to slam Richard Fahey’s Sious Rising by three lengths.

McDonogh, who completed a double on the Pat Tallis-trained Acushladear in the Handicap, commented: “I was just beaten on one of Kevin’s in York last week, so this makes up for it. She’s a filly going the right way. But she only has one eye and ran about a bit.”

Johnny Murtagh maintained his surge to regain the Jockey’s Championship, completing a double on Balmont Mast in the opening five-furling handicap and Ger Lyons' Rogue Element in the first division of the two-year-old colts’ maiden.

The double left him 76-70 ahead of Pat Smullen in the title-race, following the reigning champion’s success on the Dermot Weld-trained debutante Stunned Silence in the two-year-old fillies’ maiden.

Murtagh had started the night on a high when Balmont Mast bolted-up in the sprint handicap, prompting his trainer Eddie Lynam to declare: “That was impressive. I’ve been preaching about what a good horse he is and he was making me look stupid. But he’s finally coming right and has more improvement in him.”

Seventh Avenue, a debutant by Captain Rio, completed Lynam’s double, finishing with a flourish when switched to the outside by Shane Foley and getting up to foil An Cat Dubh by a head.

Lynam said: “He’s a nice horse and should improve a lot for that experience.”

Title-chasing Smullen and Murtagh were denied in the finale, the Follow Dundalk on Facebook Race, when their respective mounts Rock Critic and Takapour were beaten in a three-way photo-finish by the Joe Murphy-trained Northgate, strongly ridden by Emmet McNamara.

Trainer Peter Fahey stated: “Joseph (O'Brien) says he could be listed or group class and he should know - he rides plenty of them,” after watching Obviously land the seven-furlong handicap at the expense of Golden Shoe. “He’s a horse to look forward to next year, although his owners are keen to sell.”

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