Monday 25 September 2017

Highland Fling waltzes away with Listowel prize

Highland Fling is out on his own
Highland Fling is out on his own

Highland Fling ran out a clear-cut winner of the Behans Horseshoe Bar & Restaurant Handicap at Listowel.

Gavin Cromwell's five-year-old was disappointing on his previous outing at the Curragh but bounced back in style, taking up the running on the turn for home.

He established a significant advantage at that point and although Oiche Mhaith Boy tried to give chase, it was in vain as Highland Fling (9-2) coasted home by two and a half lengths.

Winning rider Rory Cleary said: "He jumped and travelled away well, and took me into the race easily. He handled that ground very well.

"He'd a great run at Galway and it was similar enough conditions today."

The Last Indian completed a hat-trick in the Byrne Family Handicap.

Aidan Howard's filly has been a different animal since going handicapping, winning at Tipperary and Navan, and although she was 21lb higher than when her spree began, she answered all of Pat Smullen's questions to outbattle Ecoeye by three-quarters of a length as the 100-30 favourite.

Howard said: "I was very worried about the ground but Pat twisted my arm and he was 100 per cent right. My staff have done a great job keeping her healthy and fit as the family are all quirky.

"We may look at another handicap, and then we will go hurdling. She has a mark of 83 over hurdles."

Following an encouraging fourth at Tipperary a couple of weeks ago, the John Murphy-trained Brazos (9-2) made it second-time lucky in the MAC Fuels & General Supplies Maiden.

Solo Saxophone cut out the running and looked likely to see off all challengers, but Brazos loomed up a furlong out and saw out his race well to score by three and a quarter lengths.

Jockey Shane Foley said: "He was a bit keen the last day at Tipperary and I wanted to get a bit of cover today. He's come forward well from the run, which John's horses usually do.

"You can never be sure, especially on that ground, but he got through it well."

Kupa River (9-4) had the Follow Listowel Races On Twitter Maiden in the bag from some way out and he strode right away in the straight, crossing the line with nine lengths in hand of runner-up Free Ranger.

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