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Heffernan's four-day ban after return from 36-day absence


Seamie Heffernan

Seamie Heffernan

Seamie Heffernan

Seamie Heffernan marked his return to action in great style with Listed victory for Laburnum (4/5 favourite) spearheading a double for the veteran jockey at Gowran Park.

A mixture of quarantine restrictions and a 22-day whip ban picked up in France last month ruled Heffernan (left) out of action for 36 days but the Kildare jockey made up for lost time on his first day back yesterday.

Laburnum produced a career-best when fourth in last month's Irish Oaks and Aidan O'Brien's filly followed up to catch front-running stablemate Ennistymon (3/1) before powering to victory in the Hurry Harriet Stakes. The daughter of Galileo was a welcome winner for Heffernan (right), who quipped that he was "very hungry and has bills to pay" after his long spell on the sidelines.

The 48-year-old doubled up when taking a handicap on Tony Martin's Jungle Jungle (16/1) but there was a sting in the tail when he was hit with a four-day ban by the stewards for interference.

It was a day to remember for trainer Johnny Murtagh as he continued his scintillating run of form to notch a 437/1 treble with exciting filly Laggata (9/4 favourite) losing her maiden tag at the fourth attempt while Lord Rapscallion (14/1) and Springbank (8/1) both landed the odds in handicap company. 

Jessica Harrington's Ancient Spirit will take all the beating in the Group Three Clipper Logistics Desmond Stakes (3.0) at Leopardstown today under Shane Foley.

There was no disgrace in his defeat to Patrick Sarsfield last month having landed successive Listed events prior to that and the five-year-old may control the pace and exert his dominance.