Lynch on the mark with fine double at Gowran
Andrew Lynch got the perfect boost ahead of today's expected reappearance of Sizing Europe with a Gowran Park double in the two-mile champion's colours on Absolutlyfantastic and Cavite Beta.
Well-supported 7/4 favourite Absolutlyfantastic, a stablemate of Sizing Europe at Henry de Bromhead's yard, captured the opening maiden hurdle in taking fashion, leading for most of the way and holding Scots Gaelic by three-quarters of a length.
It was tougher for the Jim Dreaper-trained Cavite Beta, which built a big lead in the Bennettsbridge Hurdle despite a slipping saddle, but looked about to be swamped as the opposition closed him down in the straight.
Cavite Beta jumped the final flight with Slew Charm, but Lynch still had something up his sleeve and drove the 6/1 shot to victory by a neck, with favourite Some Present a respectable third on his return from a long lay-off.
The jockey wasn't far away from a treble in the familiar Potts colours when Sizing Santiago finished second to John 'Shark' Hanlon's Misala in the beginners' chase.
Gillian Callaghan's seven-year-old Ongenstown Lad took his winning tally to four in the feature handicap hurdle. Keith Donoghue sent the 11/1 shot into the lead jumping the second-last flight and he cleared away to beat Cootamundra by eight lengths.
Robbie Burns' Mahrajaan came out on top in a war of attrition for the Ballyhane Handicap Chase, catching King High in the shadow of the post to score by a nose under Tom Doyle.
The bumper went to the Mags Mullins-trained newcomer Mumbo Jumbo, which went clear over a furlong out in the hands of James Carroll.
At Dundalk, meanwhile, Joseph O'Brien partnered his first winner as a fully fledged jockey when his father's Up recorded a cosy success in the fillies maiden. The daughter of Galileo made the most of getting in from second reserve to open her account at the second time of asking as O'Brien held his mount up in the early stages before switching wide early in the straight.
The Ballydoyle charge quickened into the lead at the furlong pole and stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to record a length-and-a-quarter success.
The Jim Bolger-trained Katevan took the opening juvenile auction maiden in the hands of Kevin Manning, coming with a run on the outer to lead in the closing stages and score by three-parts-of-a-length from Honour And Obey.