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Lane leads Irish party in Perth

Yet again the Irish raiders had a profitable journey to Perth yesterday as Gordon Elliott spearheaded a successful day for the travelling national hunt contingent. Only one of the day's winners was not Irish trained.

Elliott, who has been the champion trainer at the Scottish track for the past number of seasons, aided his attempt to restore that title with a treble on the opening day of their two-day fixture.

The Grand National-winning trainer landed the opening race with Abbey Lane, who previously won a point-to-point for Philip Dempsey as a four-year-old and followed up a recent maiden hurdle success to oblige at odds on in the novice hurdle under Paul Carberry.

Carberry was joining Elliott in enjoying a treble on the card and while the opening winner carried the colours of Martin Lynch, the pair ended the day by completing the treble with a brace for owner Sean Gallagher.



Worthwhile

Gallagher's King Roonah was a four-and-a-half length winner of the handicap chase, while Wikaala took the last race also justifying a favourite tag in the handicap hurdle.

Tony Martin made his trip a worthwhile one as his charge, Red Kingdom, landed the novice chase under Denis O'Regan in a race in which Elliott had the 2/1 favourite Grand Opera, who finished third. Meanwhile, Elliott and Carberry also had the odds-on favourite Millrock Lady in the maiden hurdle but were outdone by a length and a half by the Liam Lennon-trained Niamh's Way -- a 28/1 winner in the hands of Johnny Farrelly.

At home and there was a slight upset in the featured Brownstown Stakes as 14/1 chance Berg Bahn obliged for Ger Lyons and Keagan Latham.

Although a bit of a surprise in being sent off a 14/1 chance, the winning trainer was happy that his daughter of Big Back Bob was going into the Group Three in fine fettle and he wasn't at all overly shocked by the outcome.

"She came out of her race at Royal Ascot so well and her last piece of work was very good. We just weren't sure of the trip but we were confident she'd be in the three," said Lyons.

English raider Sent From Heaven could only finish fourth while other market principals Distinctive, Bewitched and Kitty Kiernan never landed a blow.

Trainer David Marnane continued his great run of form by supplying Shane Foley with a quick-fire double that will help Michael Halford's apprentice continue in his quest to claim the apprentice title. It is currently led by Ben Curtis, who was also on the mark last night as La Chassotte scored.

Fran Berry closed the gap on Pat Smullen to just one by taking the concluding maiden on the John Oxx-trained Sindiyma.


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