Regal battles to victory at Roscommon
CHARLIE Swan's Regal Ambition battled bravely under Denis Hogan to take last night's feature at Roscommon, the Leo Dolan Memorial Handicap Hurdle.
Cootamundra, sent off the 10/3 favourite under Ruby Walsh, didn't produce the goods when asked and it was Regal Ambition which stayed on best to take the spoils.
"He needed every bit of the three miles. He stays really well and he jumps great," said Swan of his 12/1 winner. "He'll jump a fence in time."
Walsh also had to settle for the runner-up spot aboard Jacksonlady which played second fiddle to Safari Sunup in the Oran Novice Hurdle
The former champion jockey attempted to make all aboard the 13/8 favourite and the partnership looked the likely winners when they went clear approaching the straight. Safari Sunup, under Shay Barry, closed her down approaching two out and, despite a mistake, Eoin Doyle's charge battled on gamely to edge a thrilling duel by half a length.
There was a 29-length gap back to the third-placed Fuschia Belle.
Walsh did visit the winner's enclosure after guiding Royal Reveille -- trained by his father Ted -- to victory in the Pyramid Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle.
The winning son of Old Vic was always prominent and disputed the lead five from home, gradually easing clear to record a 12-length victory over runner-up Sea Master.
In the opening Athleague Maiden Hurdle, Christy Roche's odds-on favourite Park Ranger had to give best to the John Kiely-trained Carlingford Lough, which recorded a length success under Mark Walsh.