Thursday 14 November 2019

Political strikes for top man Halford

Trainer Michael Halford
Trainer Michael Halford

Michael Halford celebrated confirmation of his position as top trainer for Dundalk's winter campaign with a winner in the one-mile handicap.

Political Policy was the Co Kildare trainer's runner in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk Race & Stay Package Handicap, and he was backed into 11/8 favourite to reverse recent placings with second favourite Fix It.

Under assured handling from Conor Hoban, Halford's gelding challenged up the inside of Tom Dooley as Fix It came with a run on the wide outside, but it was Political Policy which quickened up the smarter to beat his old rival by a length.

Earlier, Chris Hayes spoiled the 'homecoming' party for Jamie Spencer fans when the jockey got Bint Dandy home in front in the auction maiden. Spencer, a former champion jockey in both Ireland and the UK, paid a rare visit to the course to partner Johnny Murtagh's colt Jocular, which was sent off the 4/6 favourite in the Qatar Racing colours.

The market leader held every chance in a three-way battle in the straight, but Hayes came out best, slipping down the inside on Paul Deegan's 3/1 shot and keeping the filly going to score by a neck.

Fergal Lynch got a good tune out of Iron Major to win the opener over seven furlongs, holding up Eddie Lynam's 7/1 shot until the final furlong before thrusting him through a gap to beat Strait Of Zanzibar by half a length.

Irish Independent

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