Condon steers Bayan to battling victory

Gordon Elliot’s Bayan justified favouritism with a game display in the featured Races Supporters’ Club Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel yesterday.

Davy Condon was seen to real advantage, hunting his charge down the inside, until making his move coming away from the third last.

One Fine Day tried to close down the winner in the straight, but that challenge was shrugged off going to the last.

Then top weight Call Me Bubbles emerged as the final worry, but Bayan found loads and was comfortably ahead at the line.

Said Elliott: “Davy gave him a great ride, the horse stayed really well. We’ll see what the handicapper does now, but he could go for one of those handicap in England.”

Earlier on, Davy Russell’s persistence paid dividends aboard Elliott’s Toner D’Oudairies in the John F McGuire Novice Chase.

For most of the final circuit this looked a match between Ancient Days and Sizing Symphony, but Russell was having none of it and he drove his charge to the front over two out.

Said Elliott: “He was very disappointing the last day (Killarney), they went quick early and he sulked. He’s a bit of a monkey, but it worked out grand.”

Captain May, trained by Andrew Lee and carrying the colours of his wife, Aileen, followed his recent win at Laytown by landing the Brandon Hotel Handicap. The six-year-old was far from neglected in the market, finding 8-1 from early offers of 14’s.

Ben Curtis soon had him bowling along in front and Captain May kept finding all the way up the straight to beat top weight Indian Landing.

Aileen represented her husband and said: “He (Captain May) was in fine form coming, working very well during the week.

“This is fantastic, it is great to win again. He’s an improving horse, has plenty of toe and Ben gave him a great ride.”

Paul Deegan’s Shining Emerald was all the rage in the morning, for the Jet O’Carroll Memorial EBF Maiden, and the confidence was certainly justified.

Always on the pace for Chris Hayes, he kicked on with under two furlongs to run and by the time the line was reached, the Clodovil colt was a whopping 16 lengths clear of Homeric Hymn.

“He did it well and had good form in the book,” reported Deegan. “It was too quick for him last time at Leopardstown and we had to wait and wait for slow ground. Mind you he wouldn’t want it as soft as that.”

Dermot Weld’s newcomer, Lanyard, was far too good for her rivals in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Median Auction Maiden.

Pat Smullen eased her ahead over a furling from home and she lengthened clear to score by five lengths.

“I was fearful of the ground, being by an American sire,” said Smullen. “I am very pleased with that.”

Tommy Stack’s Romantic Stroll hardly left second gear to take the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Handicap in the hands of Wayne Lordan.

“She goes on soft, but didn’t know if she wanted it as bad as that,” said Stack. “It’s nice to win here, I was born not too far away.”

Ruby Walsh enjoyed his first success of the week when Tony Martin’s Lagan Canal easily won the Kerry Petroleum Maiden Hurdle.

The only moment of worry came when he made a slight mistake two out, but it was essentially plain sailing for the market leader.

Said Martin: “He’s a good moving horse and I was a bit worried about the ground. We’ll find something for him, he could go to England for the better ground.”

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