Make A Challenge left behind the disappointment of his Greenlands defeat by taking the featured listed Sky Bet Midsummer Sprint Stakes at the Curragh for Joe Doyle and Denis Hogan.
The five-year-old set out to make all, was passed by Urban Beat over a furlong out, but responded generously to get back in front in the closing stages. It was a fourth victory at the Curragh for the now eight-time winner. “The last day didn’t really go great – our tactics didn’t work,” said Hogan.
“We dropped him in a bit thinking we needed to get the six (furlongs) but we disappointed him. And there wasn’t much pace up front. Joe really got it right today, he was adamant to ride him that way and well done to him.”
Nordic Passage impressed in the Sporting Life Fast Results Handicap, Johnny Levins’ runner quickening sharply to lead down the far side for a comfortable success.
Ken Condon has a promising bunch of juveniles and Teresa Mendoza looked well above average when making a winning debut in the six-furlong maiden.
Etneya became the third Dermot Weld-trained and Aga Khan-owned three-year-old filly to make a winning debut this season and did it with a swagger in the Fillies’ & Mares’ Maiden.
Johnny Murtagh’s Carrytheone progressed from first to second run and took another step forward to win his maiden at the third time of asking.
Katy Brown’s Allora Yeats followed up a recent Bellewstown success by taking the first division of the Sky Bet 12-furlong handicap under Mark Gallagher, while Gavin Ryan chalked up his 17th winner of the season taking the second division aboard the Mark Fahey-trained Place Des Vosges.
In Kilbeggan, the Axa Farm Insurance Midlands National was the feature and it provided a real thriller. Dermot McLoughlin’s Freewheelin Dylan, twice a winner at this track already, set out to make all under Ricky Doyle and managed that feat, though only just.
Numerous horses held their chance going to the last, and Three Musketeers made a bold bid to go through a very narrow gap on the rails after the last.
The exchanges suggested he got there just in time, but the print showed Freewheelin Dylan to have held on by a hair’s breadth.