Strongly supported all day and sent off 5/4 favourite, the Alamshar gelding knuckled down well for Kevin Manning to beat Sli Na Fiarana by a length to the delight of Deegan. “We’ve always thought a good bit of him and felt it was worth waiting when he had a few niggly problems. He’ll appreciate another couple of furlongs and might be a stakes horse — we’ll probably try him in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh next.”
Fran Berry, who recorded a double o his first day back after injury last week, was on the mark again when Akasaka (backed from 5/2 in the morning and sent off 10/11) registered his second win at Dundalk in the thetote.com Claiming Race.
The King’s Best gelding, described by Berry as “a polytrack specialist” stretched clear to slam Baitsileir by four and a half lengths, giving trainer Eddie Lynam, in Dubai to saddle Sole Power in today’s Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, another Dundalk win.
“That’s two from two, just like last year,” declared Ger Flynn, representing trainer Jim Bolger, after the Rory Cleary-ridden Verbal Honesty won the opening two-year-old maiden, following-up the success of well-touted stable companion Dawn Approach at the Curragh on Sunday.
The Elusive City filly prevailed, under hands and heels riding by Rory Cleary, by a head from Angela’s Dream prompting the winning rider to comment: “She jumped well and did everything right. She’s still green and should improve from the experience.”
The Pat Smullen-ridden Exhortation, an uneasy favourite in the face of support for two rivals, was mugged close home and beaten a half-length by the David Marnane-trained Suehail in the thetote.com Median Auction Maiden.
Suehail, produced late by Fergal Lynch, was reversing Leopardstown form from last September with the Weld runner and impressed Lynch, who said: “He’s definitely one to follow through the season.”
Highlight of the handicap action was the battling victory of the Leigh Roche-ridden Grey Danube in the six-furlong handicap, a first training success for Curragh-based Darren Bunyan, who learned his trade with John Oxx and Dermot Weld before a lengthy stint with Ken Condon.