Colin Keane draws level with Billy Lee in title race

Smile Of Love overcame a wide draw to land the Conrad Developments Handicap in Dundalk
Colin Keane draws level with Billy Lee in title race

Smile Of Love and Colin Keane combine to win the Conrad Developments Handicap in Dundalk. Picture: Healy Racing

Colin Keane joined Billy Lee on the 80-winner mark for the season when sharing a welcome success with Ger Lyons as handicap debutante Smile Of Love overcame a wide draw to land the featured, seven-furlong Conrad Developments Handicap in Dundalk.

The three-year-old Tamayuz filly challenged down the centre of the track to lead inside the final furlong and beat Rocky Dreams by a length and a half.

“She had a wide draw, but both the filly and Colin overcame it,” said Shane Lyons. “We were going to go straight for the (Listed) Cooley Stakes, but with a rating of 88, we were tempted to come here first. She’ll go for the Cooley now (November 4) and will be a nice filly next year.” 

The Joseph O’Brien-trained debutante Malleymoo looked a smart prospect when quickening well to land the Irish EBF Median Sires Series 2-Y-0 Fillies Maiden.

A morning gamble, sent off the 9-4 favourite, the English Channel filly overcame a tardy start, came from mid-division, and swooped inside the final furlong to beat Tea Tree Bay by a length and a quarter, with Fast Tara a close third, providing Dylan Browne McMonagle with the first leg of a Friday night double, completed on Denis Coakley’s Super Over in the Solus Ceramics Handicap.

The winning rider explained: “She was a bit hesitant coming out of the gates, so I was further back than planned. They went a good gallop, but she was always comfortable, went through the gears up the straight, picked-up well but didn’t do much when she got there.” 

Michael O’Callaghan’s King Of Scotia was sent off favourite for the colts’ equivalent but, having hit the front, drifted left and, ultimately, was readily brushed aside by the Jack Davison-trained Brighter London, building on a debut third in a newcomers’ race in Naas.

“He’s done things mostly on raw ability this year,” Davison said. “He’s a nice colt, a very good physical specimen, and should be a very good horse over a mile next year.” 

Ado McGuinness registered a notable 1-2 in the Haughian Solicitors Handicap as Adam Caffrey brought Pierre Lapin with a late flourish to belatedly open his account for the stable, pipping Cardouan by a nose.

Earlier, in Downpatrick, the Willie Mullins-trained mare Inclusion took full advantage of the 22lb she was receiving from fellow 9-4 joint-favourite Sam’s Choice to land the INH Stallion Owners Maiden Hurdle, getting up late under 7lb claimer Kieran Callaghan to score by a half-length.

Trainer John McConnell reached a notable milestone, his 60th win of 2022, when No Trouble, ridden by talented 5lb claimer Kieren Buckley, landed the McGrady Financial Services Rated Novice Hurdle in commanding style from Prince Zaltar, the six-time Flat winner belatedly opening his account over flights.

Michael Hourigan’s Sanibel Island (Darragh O’Keeffe) defied a 9lb hike for his Killarney win on Sunday when pipping Walking The Walk in the Downpatrick End Of Season Handicap Chase.

  • Three jockeys felt the wrath of the Downpatrick stewards for whip offences — Jack Kennedy (five days) on Sam’s Choice, Shane O’Callaghan (seven days) on Willyouwalkwithme and Sam Ewing, successful later on Mads Black Eights in Dundalk, who received a four-day ban on Winding River.

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