Dashingly handled by Andrew McNamara, he jumped to the front over the fourth last. From that point the only concern was getting in rather right to the last, but he was well clear and crossed the line nicely in front of Forpadydeplasterer.
Commented Hanlon: “He’d want to tidy up his jumping a bit, but did the job and that’s all that matters.
“He wasn’t right last season, but has turned the corner and showed it today. I’d say his next run will be in the Paddy Power (Cheltenham) in November. Andrew gave him a great ride, a confident ride.”
Spring Heeled, who had it to prove on ratings, was all the rage in the betting. Paddy power had offered him at 5-1 on Thursday night and he went off the 13-8 favourite.
The six-year-old’s jumping simply wasn’t good enough, however, and he could only plug on to claim third.
Johnny Murtagh’s first visit of the week paid sweet dividends when he guided Rich Coast to success in the valuable Guinness Handicap.
It was a magical bit of riding by Murtagh, who grabbed a decisive lead with over two furlongs to go.
Heavily backed favourite, Quick Jack, was soon in pursuit, but the bird had flown and Rich Coast was comfortably ahead at the line to give Murtagh his first winner at the festival as a trainer.
Said Murtagh: “We thought he was good at the start of the season, but lost his way somewhat.
“We’ve put a lot of work into this horse, freshened him up and picked out this race. He will now go for either the Finale Stakes at the Curragh, or the November Handicap at Naas, and then it will be the sales at Newmarket.”
Kevin Sexton gave Jim Nash’s Massini’s Trap a superb drive to take the John Fletcher Memorial Novice Hurdle.
King Of The Picts went for glory with a full circuit to go and certainly didn’t take any prisoners.
But inevitably that had to take its toll and the far more patiently ridden winner eased past on the run in.
Said Nash: “He’s a very small horse, but seems to have a lot of ability. I didn’t know if he’d handle the ground.
“He travelled and jumped great for the young lad, his 7lbs claim made all of the difference.”
A fair old gamble went astray on Dermot Weld’s Park Place in the Listowel Printing Works Maiden.
Taken at 6-1 in the morning, he was very strong on track as well and returned the 2-1 favourite.
Park Place arrived to hold every chance in the straight, but was soon struggling, just holding on for third spot.
Victory went to Egyptian Warrior, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by his son, Joseph.
The Galileo gelding edged ahead over a furlong down and was soon clear to beat Hareth by seven lengths.
Said Joseph: “He improved today, although it was probably an ordinary race. The first time blinkers helped him.”
In contrast to Park Place a decent touch was landed with Kevin Prendergast’s Modista, in what looked a fiercely competitive LM Carey And Company Handicap.
This daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was taken from some 7’s to 9-2 favourite and, partnered by in-form Chris Hayes, won going away by three and a half lengths.
“The ground wasn’t soft enough for her the last day”, remarked Hayes. “She is smart on soft ground and I knew cantering down the start was going to love it.”
Hail Shower’s attempt to win her second race of the week was sunk in the South Western Scrap Metal Handicap.
Wayne Lordan had the 2-1 favourite out and away like a shot and Willie McCreery’s charge looked a winner early in the straight.
But once hitting the furlong pole her stride began to shorten and Tadgh O’Shea quickly seized the opportunity to drive Janna’s Jingle past, with Snakes And Ladders staying on to claim second. Janna’s Jingle heads to Dubai on Monday for a winter stint
Lady Lyrath, trained by Shane Duffy in Co Laois, gave Connor King his second winner of the week in the John And Terry Moriarty Memorial Handicap.
As usual, King’s timing was impeccable, as he produced Lady Lyrath to sweep by the flattering Chillie Billie inside the furlong pole.
Interestingly Duffy, who would be regarded as one of the more low profile trainers, won the same race three years earlier with Hello Man.
Reported Duffy: “We have eight horses in training and could always do with a few more.”
Michael Hourigan’s The Job Is Right went off favourite for the John J Galvin Maiden Hurdle, but some sloppy jumping cost him.
Barry Geraghty, however still managed to drive the five-year-old into the lead between the final two flights and he went to the last with the race at his mercy.
But The Job Is Right again got it completely wrong at the obstacle and Mireya, ridden by Martin Burke for Cathy Harrison, took advantage to sweep past soon after. It was Burke’s first winner since January.