Russian Soul caps Dundalk double for in-form Foley
Shane Foley initiated a sparkling Dundalk double when bringing stable stalwart Russian Soul with a late burst to claim the featured five-furlong handicap for his boss Mick Halford.
Without a win in six starts since recording his third success at the Co Louth all-weather facility in March, the Invincible Spirit seven-year-old was dropping notably in class for yesterday's €25,000 contest. Despite a 10st burden, Russian Soul came through under a composed Foley steer to justify being backed from 11/1 into an 11/2 SP.
"Shane is riding particularly well this year - he has a lot of confidence," Halford said after the stable's eighth win in a fortnight.
"Russian Soul has a bit of class and with his size he's well able to carry the weight. He has been a wonderful servant."
After guiding Russian Soul to a two-length defeat of Master Speaker, Foley completed his 51/1 brace in contrasting style, getting War Room up on the line to thwart Eloge by a head.
It was the 7/1 shot's third win for Shane Duffy since the Laois handler acquired the six-year-old in the autumn. "I thought he didn't get enough credit coming into this," Duffy beamed afterwards. "He loves it around here."
Aidan O'Brien bagged a straightforward short-priced brace with odds-on shots Outspoken and Hobart, his son Donnacha driving Outspoken clear in the conditions race and his elder son Joseph steering Hobart to an 11-length rout in the 12-furlong maiden.
The first part of the card belonged to Co Meath, with Ger Lyons, Eddie Lynam and Pat Martin scoring with Chenega Bay (2/1 joint favourite), Balmont Blast and Ishebayorgrey (7/4 favourite), respectively. Colin Keane, another Meath man, partnered Chenega Bay to an easy maiden win, before getting Ishebayorgrey up to record a third win in four starts and a fourth this year.
However, it was the 17-year-old Letterkenny native Oisin Orr who landed the gamble on Balmont Blast, which was backed from 10/1 into 5/1 for the apprentices' handicap and won accordingly.
"That's my third winner and I'm down to my 7lb claim now," Orr revealed after the bloodless triumph.
In all, six horses returned at odds-on at yesterday's domestic meetings - four of them at Sligo.
Bachasson and Long Dog won in the manner that their prohibitive offerings suggested they should on their hurdling bows for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh - as did the trainer's Fugi Mountain in the bumper.
Fugi Mountain was ridden by Patrick Mullins, who on Friday night at Cork lodged an objection against the starter Derek Cullen for failing to follow starting procedures in the first bumper.
Mullins, who set off near the rear on his uncle Tom's Miss Ellis Island before finishing 10th, had his deposit of €130 refunded by the stewards, who forwarded the matter on to the Turf Club for further investigation.
Yesterday's other winning odds-on shot was Gordon Elliott's Miss Dinamic, whose rising star rider Jack Kennedy later doubled up on Mark McNiff's 8/1 shot Urban Dusk.