Under a confident and patient ride by David Mullins, the 5/4 favourite came through to master Orion’s Might at the final flight to triumph by two and a quarter lengths.
Martin commented: “On the book, he was entitled to win tonight. We rode him too positively the last day — he was a bit free and keen and always doing a bit too much.
“This time, we dropped him in and used his bit of speed. David was very good on him and took his time. He’s one of the best young lads around and reminds me of Ruby – you just have to tell him what you think and he’ll use his own discretion.”
Harangue, runner-up in a handicap hurdle in Galway on Sunday, made a quick reappearance to land the Class Grass Handicap Chase for County Galway trainer Paul Gilligan and Andrew Lynch.
Always handy and travelling well, the seven-year-old proved too strong for Illtakeitfromhere at the business end, to the delight of Gilligan. “He lost nothing in defeat in Galway. He ran a good race, but was probably in front a bit long – he wandered about a bit coming up the hill. But he pulled out fresh and won well tonight. We’ll take him to Listowel and, with a bit of luck, he might get into the Kerry National.”
Exactoris, fifth on his recent debut in Killarney, continued the tremendous bumper form of Aidan and Sarah O’Brien and owner J P McManus when landing the finale, the Boyle Flat Race.
Having mastered front-running favourite Avichi, the four-year-old Shantou gelding stayed on dourly to hold Star Foot by three-quarters of length, prompting his trainer to comment: “He was very green the first day and learned a lot from it. You saw what he is – a big, genuine galloper.”
The opening juvenile hurdle of the season, the Railway Bar 3-Y-0 Maiden Hurdle produced a shock as market-leaders Lagostovegas and King Christophe were firmly put in their place by 33/1 shot Rashaan, first leg of a double for Mikey Fogarty.
Bought by his trainer Colin Kidd for €8,500 out of Michael Halford’s last February, having run only once for his previous handler, Rashaan, a half-brother to Rayeni (runner-up to Mastercarftsman in the 2009 Irish 2,000 Guineas), stretched clear on the run-in to triumph by six lengths, to the delight of his trainer. “He’s been working well and knew his job. He looks good value now and we might think about going back for a flat maiden.”
Fogarty went on to complete his 577/1 double on board the Colin Bowe-trained mare Katie Do, a three-time point-to-point winner, which got the better of a duel with Bills Official in the Michael Holland Tyres Handicap Chase.
Barry Geraghty was on the mark in the colours of his new boss J P McManus (two winners on the night) when Gallant Tipp landed the Budweiser Beginners Chase at the expense of Much Wants More.
The 7/4 favourite was a close second and challenging when market leader and front-runner Deputy’s Pass crashed at the third last, simplifying the Definite Article gelding’s task.
“He was very unlucky the last day (in Tipperary),” stated winning trainer Edward O’Grady. And, to be honest, I didn’t think it would take him this long to win over fences.”