Portrade was a success for the smaller man, trained at Ratoath, near Fairyhouse racecourse, by George Stanley.
“I have five or six horses in training and do this as a sideline, it’s a bit of crack,” reported Stanley. And his real job? “I’m an unfortunate builder,” came the retort.
Smiler struck for home going to the third last and still just about held the call when blundering away his chances at the final flight.
Lynch seized the opportunity to drive Portrade into the lead and his game partner kept finding to hold Macnicholson by half a length.
“That was a great win and a nice ride,” continued Stanley. “The horse was very settled, compared to the last couple of races he ran. I am more than pleased with Andrew, he was wonderful.”
Portrade is certainly proving particularly important in Stanley’s racing life. When he won at Bellewstown in July, at 40-1, was the first winner Stanley had trained in four years.
Paul Townend gave Willie Mullins’ Security Breach a powerful ride to land the Kevin McManus Beginners Chase.
Security Breach showed a marked tendency to jump to his right, but was still able to make most of the running. Benemeade, easily best for money in the ring, ranged up as a big danger approaching the straight, but Townend was in no mood for defeat and when he threw his charge at the final fence that was the clincher.
Said Townend: “It wasn’t ideal being in front on our own, but we could do what we wanted.
“Thankfully, it worked out well. He went a bit right (jumping), but got to the other side quickly.”
Mullins completed a double when Daring Carlotta won the Helena Sheahan Memorial Bumper in a canter.
Partnered by his son, Patrick, the daughter Kayf Tara cruised ahead early in the straight to take her record to three from three.
Said Patrick: “She has improved with every run and wants good ground and a flat track. She will win on the flat and over hurdles as well.”
Chiclet was very much favoured by the weights in the Tote Jackpot Guarantee Maiden, but wasn’t able to cope with Dermot Weld’s Intisaab, preferred to her in the market. Chiclet tried to make all, but the winner gradually wore her down and was nicely on top inside the furlong pole.
Intisaab did edge in towards the second, but, following a stewards’ inquiry, an alteration to the placings was never a possibility.
Said Smullen: “He had a long, hard think about it in the straight. She’s not a bad filly, but I always thought we’d outstay her.”
Smullen is now just two short of hitting the 100-winners in a season for the first time.
The hitherto frustrating David Wachman-trained No Wunder finally enjoyed a turn when easily landing the Frank O’Leary Memorial Maiden.
Pushed into the lead a furlong down by in-form Wayne Lordan, the gelded son of Rock Of Gibraltar soon eased clear.
Said Lordan: “His last couple of runs have been pretty solid. He was weak earlier in the year, but has strengthened up a lot.”
Ado McGuinness admitted to being a “little shocked” after his Face Value had won the Behans’ Horseshoe Bar And Restaurant Handicap.
Face Value, having a first outing since running over flights at Leopardstown at Christmas, battled on strongly for Ross Coakley driving to beat the flattering Kabjoy by a neck.
Commented McGuinness: “He hasn’t run for nine months and was being aimed at the November Handicap (Leopardstown). I thought I had left him short!”
Davy Russell had his first winner of the festival when driving John Queally’s top weight, Memories Of Milan, to mug gallant front-runner, Buster Dan Dan, near the line in the Devon Inn Hotel Handicap Hurdle.
Reported Queally: “He had a bad fall about three and a half years ago and lost his way. He won at Mallow (last month) and that seems to have given him confidence.”
The Garvan Donnelly-trained Equation Of Time proved a decisive winner of the Speedy’s Bar Moyvane And Ballylongford Handicap.
Shane Foley drove the five-year-old up the inside to lead over a furlong out and Equation Of Time eased clear to score by just under three lengths.
nYesterday’s attendance was 18,630, up from 17,087 last year.