The progressive three-year-old gelding provided Pat Smullen with a big-race success just five days after relinquishing the Jockeys Championship title to arch-rival Johnny Murtagh. He commented: “He needed the strong pace, because he’s better over a mile and a half. But he showed a great attitude out there and is improving all the time.”
The David Wachman trained Hot Bed (Seamus Heffernan) made it third time lucky when proving a shock winner of the two-year-old maiden, prompting his trainer to comment, by phone: “He’s a smart colt and is still learning. He should make a nice three-year-old.”
Trainer Tracy Collins thanked neighbour and colleague Jim Gorman for transporting Ashtow Rose to the track after her horsebox breakdown en route, after the Intikhab gelding completed a hat-trick at Dundalk by defying top-weight under Danny Benson in the Follow Dundalk On Facebook Handicap.
Having refused to enter the stalls when a major gamble here last month, the Eddie Lynam-trained Banner Road justified 2/1 favouritism in the opening nursery, helped by a strong ride by Pat Shanahan, who was recording his fifth win of 2011.
Lynam, who has enjoyed a tremendous run in recent weeks, completed a double when Captain Henry, ridden by Wayne Lordan, proved best in the Group Discounts At Dundalk Handicap.
Michael Halford commented: “He didn’t get home over the extended mile and quarter last week, but deserved a change of luck,” after If Per Chance (Shane Foley) got the better of Tarrsille in the apprentice handicap.