Lordan and Smullen clock up 20th winners

The season’s leading riders, Wayne Lordan and Pat Smullen, moved onto the 20 winner mark when hitting the target early in Dundalk last night.

Lordan, the early-season pacesetter in the title-race, partnered odds-on favourite Almanack to an all-the-way win in the opening two-year-old maiden while Smullen was seen at his strongest on board Exhortation, which got home by the minimum margin, a nose, from Multitasking in the six-furlong maiden.

Helped by his debut third over course and distance, Almanack pleased Lordan, who commented: “He knew his job after the last day and won well. He’s still a bit green and should improve again. And six furlongs won’t be a problem for him.”

Favourite-backers hit the target again when Exhortation, helped by the drop back to six furlongs, scraped home in the Irish Stallion farms Maiden, giving Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen a sixth winner since Sunday.

After pipping Multitasking, Smullen said: “The low draw, normally a big help here, forced my hand and we were in front too soon, just like the last day. But he toughed it out and, if he gets a nice mark, will be competitive in handicaps.”

Apprentice Sam James completed a fine double on Kieran Cotter’s Little Village in the six-furlong www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap and longshot Give Me Shelter in the Louth Rated Race.

Little Village came through inside the final furlong before holding the challenge of Luckiest Owners and front-running Bangalore Diamond by a couple of heads.

James followed-up when 20/1 shot Give Me Shelter, a first winner for his trainer Bernard Heffernan when scoring here last month, made virtually all to beat Elwazeer in the Louth rated Race.

The Michael; Grassick-trained Elusive In Paris defied a 6lb. hike for a recent course win over seven furlongs and top-weight in the Louth Agricultural Show 17th June Handicap, foiling You Got Heart by a length and a half.

The five-year-old was another winner for in-form Niall McCullagh. And trainer Grassick commented: “He’s improving, getting stronger and learning how to race. I’m keen to run him on grass, but we’ll have to wait for decent ground.”


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