Rashaan leaves it late but lands another Down Royal win

Fri 1 Sep 2017

Rashaan proved his stamina for three miles with a hard-fought victory in the Kerry Foods Hurdle at Down Royal.

Classy at two miles, as well as at two and a half, Colin Kidd's stable star was sent off the even-money favourite but was being scrubbed along a fair way out by Sean Flanagan.

Wakea made the running and appeared to be travelling best coming to the last, but Rashaan loomed large and stuck his neck out gamely to get up by a short head.

Kidd said: "He got there and got the job done.

"Sean said they didn't go quick enough for him and if they had gone quicker he would have been better. That's his third win here and you could nearly call him a course specialist at this stage.

"It definitely opens up more options for him and, without a doubt, he stays three miles. We'll look for something for him again before the winter ground comes and then we'll put him away.

"That's his 10th win now and it takes a fair horse to win 10 races."

The Flanagan-ridden Bosco Di Alco was one of more the experienced in the Tayto Group Ltd. Maiden Hurdle line-up, so therefore one of the most exposed, but he saw out his race best of all.

Touching down over the last in a share of the lead with Creadan Grae, the 8-1 chance pulled out plenty to score by four and three-quarter lengths.

Trainer Liz Doyle said: "He won his bumper really well but has had silent wind problems since. I did his palate this year and then he came out and Donagh (Meyler) was second on him but then never travelled on the ground (when pulling up) in Galway.

"That today is kind of the nice horse I thought he was and I just have to keep on top of the silent wind problems.

"There's a nice Grade B handicap in Gowran and if the ground is good he'll go there - it's over three miles and he needs the three miles.

"He has a good engine but it's hardship for the trainer when they don't make noise and you don't know what is wrong. We're getting on top of his wind problem, though, and hopefully he will be more trainable now."

Dixie Lee (4-1) made a successful start to her jumping career in the Allied Bakeries Mares Maiden Hurdle to initiate a double for Dermot McLoughlin.

Mark Enright sent the useful bumper performer through a gap between Delayed Eloquence and Charms Bracelet rounding the home turn and a big leap at the last helped seal a two-length victory.

McLoughlin said: "She's a nice filly and Mark said she had plenty and came alive at the third-last when he gave her a squeeze.

"She has a lot of speed and he said he had plenty of horse, so it's all good.

"She'll improve from that run and we'll see what the bosses say about coming here in November. She wouldn't want to be running on real winter ground so we'll tip along."

McLoughlin completed his brace when Uptake dug deep in the Hovis Handicap Hurdle.

The 10-1 shot was never too far from the pace and ran right the way to the line to cross it with two and a half lengths in hand of Sir Ector.

Minnie Dahill stepped forward from her jumping debut to run out a smooth winner of the Molson Coors N.I. 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

Only fourth at Gowran Park at Ballinrobe 18 days ago, the Ted Walsh-trained 7-1 chance cut through the field under Ruby Walsh to take it up before the last, and she stretched nicely clear of Vision D'Ete.

Katie Walsh, assistant to her father, said of the three-and-a-half-length winner: "She appreciated that nicer ground. She ran a nice race in Ballinrobe the last day but the ground was a bit nicer today.

"She has a lovely pedigree and it's great to win a race with her, especially for Micheal (Ryan, owner and breeder).

"It's great, she jumped super and that always helps. She's a super lepper and has a great attitude. As I said, there is no substitute for pedigree and she has it."

Sierra Law (15-2) has been much improved since the tongue-tie went on and broke through for his first Irish win, and first over obstacles, in the Linden Foods Handicap Hurdle.

True Self was all the rage for the Dale Farm Dromona Mares Flat Race and Willie Mullins' 1-3 favourite cruised to the front at the top of the straight before Patrick Mullins kept her up to her work to dispose of Betsy Boots without too much of a fuss.

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