Tuesday 20 March 2018

Putin rules supreme at Laytown

Putin (right) and jockey Billy Lee on their way to winning at Laytown SPORTSFILE
Putin (right) and jockey Billy Lee on their way to winning at Laytown SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

He might sound Russian, but Putin came from England to turn in a dominant performance for visiting Newmarket trainer Phil McEntee to take the opening six-furlong handicap at Laytown.

The 10/1 chance - which has previously shown a liking for Southwell's synthetic sand - appeared to really take to the conditions on the beach as he quickly went to the front.

Billy Lee's mount looked to be in trouble when Kiss The Stars ranged alongside travelling sweetly, but it was Putin which proved the more resolute as he claimed the spoils by a head.

McEntee's bid for a double came to no avail as his Swiss Cross had no answer to the admirable Strait Of Zanzibar in the seven-furlong handicap for qualified riders.

Ken Condon's 10/3 second favourite was ridden with supreme confidence by the trainer's wife Pauline and after taking up the running over a furlong out, the top weight stormed clear to score by three-and-a-quarter lengths from Cheers Buddy with Swiss Cross third.

Trainer Georgios Pakidis took the training honours on the card with a 45/1 double. First up was the success of Papabili which captured the seven-furlong maiden after jockey Sean Corby went for home a long way out and the 10/1 shot galloped on strongly to beat Tubeanie by two-and-a-half lengths.

Our Max completed the Pakidis brace in the concluding conditions race over seven furlongs with Patrick Mullins steering the 10/3 shot into the lead just outside the furlong pole but the reigning champion amateur had to get serious to keep favourite Usa at bay by a half-length

Over at Doncaster, John Kiely's Toe The Line was a gallant fourth to Gretchen (5/1) in the Group Two Park Hill Stakes. Ridden by Fran Berry, the raider stayed on strongly up the straight and finished just two lengths off John Gosden's gutsy winner.

Irish Independent

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