Without a win since scoring on his debut on the polytrack in May 2012, Tennessee Wildcat gave champion apprentice Colin Keane and his boss Ger Lyons a first win of 2015 when defying top-weight in the www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap in Dundalk.
The Kheleyf gelding, which carries the colours of the stable’s chief patron Sean Jones, has been called a few names in the past. But, having come from off the pace here, he quickened up well for Keane and ran on to beat Shes No Joke by a length and a quarter.
Shane Lyons, representing his trainer-brother, said: “He won well, and it was long overdue. Hopefully, it’ll give him a lot of confidence. I just hope the handicapper isn’t too hard on him.
“He travels more sweetly over a mile and Colin was happy with him tonight. He was rated very highly for a long time, but this is his level. With a bit of luck, he might win another couple and justify keeping him in training.”
The admirably tough and consistent Sharjah gave apprentice Donnacha O’Brien his eighth career success when landing the Happy New Year To All Our Patrons Handicap for trainer Andy Slattery, who said: “He was in great form and it was well, worth coming back again. There’s another race for him here in two weeks and that’ll be it – he’ll be overdue a break.”
The five-year-old was recording his fifth win around Dundalk and his first here over a mile and a half, battling gamely under O’Brien’s strong driving to hold Canon Law by a neck.
Leigh Roche, who enjoyed a tremendous 2014, was on the mark when the Shane Donohoe-trained Charlie Bear won the Elusive Pimpernel 3-Y-0 Maiden, in which a high draw proved no deterrent to the winner or runner-up Period Piece.
Drawn thirteen and fourteen respectively, they dominated throughout, with Roche’s mount prevailing by three and a half lengths, prompting trainer Donohoe to explain: “He did it well tonight, should improve again and is for sale.”
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