Fourth to Kingston Hill in last year’s Racing Post Trophy, Dolce N Karama belatedly got off the mark when making virtually all to land the Crowne Plaza Rated Race in Dundalk last night.
Pat Shanahan’s charge, which has been campaigned in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the UAE, was given an enterprising ride by apprentice Luke Dempsey to beat Akasaka, with slow-starting favourite Camakasi only fourth.
“That was a long time coming,” said Shanahan, “He’s been knocking on the door and is only starting to mature and get stronger. He goes on any ground and is going hurdling – he has schooled very well and there’s a race for him in Fairyhouse before Christmas.” Deputising for Shane Foley (suspended and on holiday), apprentice Conor Hoban seized his opportunity when giving 7/4 favourite Dalewari a strong ride to make a successful handicap debut in the one-mile nursery, gaining compensation for a recent maiden defeat over course and distance.
The Desert Style colt stayed on dourly to lead well inside the final furlong and beat longshot Tomorrow Morning by three-quarters of a length, continuing the good form of trainer Michael Halford, who commented: “He’s a lazy lad, tough, but still green. He learned plenty the last night here and will be a grand horse next year.”
Hoban, who was riding his first winner for the Aga Khan, was denied a double in the finale as Elusive Laurence failed to cope with the Joseph O’Brien-trained favourite Moonmeister, which stayed on dourly, despite edging left, to triumph for Gordon Elliott, bouncing back from a disappointing run here last time.
Elliott confirmed that Moonmeister will have one more run on the polytrack in the coming weeks before having a break and that he jumps well and will go hurdling in the spring.
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