AHEAD of a big weekend for the trainer, Gordon Elliott made his last runner prior to the Dublin Racing Festival a winning one as the improving Business moved another rung or two up the latter in landing a well-contested handicap over seven furlongs.
The five-year-old met with defeat on his debut for the Elliott yard at Laytown but has since developed into a seven-furlong specialist at Dundalk where he was making it three wins on the spin over this course and distance.
The Siyouni gelding, who carries the colours of Jimmy Mooney, cruised through the race for Declan McDonogh who was still sitting motionless inside the last quarter of a mile.
At this point it was just a question of Business finding something when he came off the bridle and the 4/1 joint-favourite duly raised his effort when coming under pressure to defeat Rocky Dreams by a cosy length.
“He’s definitely an improving horse and this is a very good trip for him. I’d say in the summer on nice ground he could be a contender in some of those good handicaps and there might be a good pot in him on grass,” stated the rider.
An excellent start to 2022 for Jimmy Coogan continued as he sent out his fourth winner of the year when French Company, in the colours of his wife Annette, won the second division of the 45-65 rated mile-and-a-half handicap.
The 100/30 chance came from off the pace for Declan McDonogh to look a likely winner entering the last quarter of a mile and after getting to the front he held off a rallying Hidden Land by half a length.
Also enjoying a fine winter campaign are Power Drive and Ciara Flynn who notched up their third win at Dundalk in recent months in the first division of that middle distance handicap.
Power Drive had to contend with an 8lb rise in the weights for scoring here last month but was not for catching as he adopted his habitual position at the head of the field.
Ciara Flynn didn’t have to go for everything in the closing stages for the John Eastwood-owned 4/1 favourite to get home by a neck from Lady Of Luxury.
This victory was the third of the winning rider’s career and her claim has now been reduced from 10lb to 7lb.
Adams clocks up another win
THE metronomic sprinter Adams Barbour enhanced his already splendid track record in the 45-70 rated six-furlong handicap.
Now a six-time Polytrack winner, with five of those victories coming in the last 12 months, the Lee Smyth inmate made all the running and had his opponents at full stretch from over a furlong out. Company Keeping came with a strong charge inside the distance but an unfaltering Adams Barbour and Luke McAteer got home by three-parts of a length.
The David Adam-owned 16/5 chance was defying a career high mark of 70 and was due to turn out again over five furlongs here last night.
Meanwhile, Ciaran Murphy and Gavin Ryan got up and running for the year as Chica Power came good in the 45-65 rated seven-furlong handicap for horses who had not been placed on their last start.
This 13-rated maiden had finished third on her penultimate start and was restored to that form as she struck the front shortly after turning in and kept going well to defeat the well-backed 3/1 joint favourite Reverberation by half a length. Chica Power carries the colours of former trainer Dot Love.
‘Amazing’ win for Lyons
A COUPLE of solid initial efforts in the latter stages of 2021 appeared to give Beauty Amazed every chance in the three-year-old maiden over an extended 10 furlongs and he duly confirmed that promise to make a winning return after nearly three months off.
Gary Carroll was on board this Ger Lyons inmate and he produced the Beauty Stable Partnership-owned gelding to strike the front well over a furlong out.
Victory looked to in safe keeping from this point on and the son of More Than Ready finished a length clear of the newcomer Zeydar. The winner is now likely to be kept under wraps until the turf season gets underway.
There was something of a reversal in store for punters in the day’s opening maiden over five furlongs when Hypernova and Twilight Man, who went off at 6/4 and 6/5 respectively, could only fill the minor placings behind Mna Na Mhi (13/2).
This Joan Brennan-owned filly started her career with a promising second to Brostaigh at this track in November but hadn’t matched that level of form in two subsequent outings.
Pat Martin’s charge was back to her best here though and she looked to have everything covered when easing into second for Mikey Sheehy with over a furlong to run.
She soon took charge and went on to hand out a length-and-a-half beating to the 77-rated Hypernova.
“I shouldn’t have run her over seven furlongs the last day when she didn’t get home after being last off the bridle. She loves this surface and if she relaxes like she did today I think she can get six furlongs,” declared the trainer.
The other maiden on the card went to Andy Slattery senior and junior as the 69-rated Sunwalk (5/2) got his turn in the older horses’ maiden over 10 furlongs.
The Pat Garvey-owned gelding was a deserving winner on the form that he showed early last season and victory was on the cards from early in the straight here.
At the line though, Sunwalk had just a neck to spare over Jaafel who ran a huge race on his first outing since November 2020.