Returning Karawaan shows no rustiness to claim Naas victory
Karawaan ran out a decisive winner of the €100,000 Tote Irish Lincolnshire as the Irish Flat season kicked off at Naas.
The heavily-backed 6/1 favourite Warnaq set out to make all the running and was still in the lead racing inside the final two furlongs.
However, his effort petered out and he was passed by Trading Point before 9/1 shot Karawaan - making his first appearance for Ger Lyons, having previously been trained in Britain by Michael Stoute - took the initiative.
Despite having been off the track since last June, the five-year-old showed no signs of rustiness, galloping on strongly in the hands of former champion jockey, Colin Keane, to emerge victorious by two and three-quarter lengths.
Trading Point (25/1) filled the runner-up spot, while Master Speaker (12/1) made late gains to beat Warnaq to third place.
Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother, said: "He hasn't missed a day since Gaelic Bloodstock purchased him. He's done a lot of cantering to get a good base into him.
"We weren't sure how he'd cope with the ground. His action at home suggested he could handle it, although you're never sure until you run them.
"Colin said he got a great feel off him going down to the start and he galloped through the ground. We always thought that he'd step up to a mile and a quarter, but there is no need to be stepping him up when he wins a handicap like that."
Still Standing claimed his fifth victory from just eight career starts with a comprehensive success in the Devoy Stakes.
A field of eight runners went to post for the 10-furlong Listed contest, including Aidan O'Brien's one-time Classic contender Amedeo Modigliani, which had been sidelined by injury since winning at the 2017 Galway Festival.
Amedeo Modigliani travelled well for a long way, but the lack of a recent run told late on.
In contrast, Still Standing, which rounded off his 2018 campaign with a handicap win at Fairyhouse, always looked in control under Jessica Harrington's newly-appointed stable jockey Shane Foley and was good value for the winning margin of three-and-a-half lengths.
Elsewhere, Noel Fehily ended a long and illustrious career in the best possible fashion as Get In The Queue ran out a ready winner of the Bumper at Newbury on Saturday.
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