Review Dundalk 7th Dec

Fri 7th Dec 2012, 21:20

Atmospheric High (2nd left) holds off Manuka (extreme left)
©Healy Racing Photos

Atmospheric High gained her reward for consistency with a third victory of the year on the all-weather surface as she took the Dundalk Stadium Light Up Your Night Rated Race.

Eddie Lynam's filly, never out of the first four in her last five races at the track, carried top weight and was sent off a 6-1 chance in the hands of Ronan Whelan.

Mid-division into the straight, she was pulled out to deliver a telling challenge and having hit the front, she held the unlucky Manuka by a neck.

Ansgar (6-1) was given an enterprising ride by Declan McDonogh to take the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Handicap, following up a course and distance victory in October off a 9lb higher mark.

Sabrina Harty's four-year-old was sent straight into the lead from a wide draw and though he held a decent advantage coming down the straight, he was all out to hold on as Akasaka's challenge failed by just a short head.

Tommy Stack's youngster Your Pal Tal, unplaced in two previous starts, got into the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden as a reserve and upset favourite-backers by winning the race.

The 10-1 shot was always close to the pace under Wayne Lordan and challenged inside the final furlong to beat market leader Rapid Approach by half a length.

There was plenty of support for Victor's Beach (4-1 joint-favourite) in the Christmas Party Packages At Dundalk Stadium Nursery and Mick Halford's juvenile came good at the sixth attempt.

Shane Foley sent him up to challenge Zainda soon after turning into the straight and he took charge in the final furlong before holding Toccata Blue by half a length.

The trainer completed a double when Conor Hoban drove Bensoon (4-1 co-favourite) ahead deep inside the final furlong of the Christmas Race & Dine Packages Apprentice Handicap (Div I) to win by three-quarters of a length. The rider was then unseated, but appeared to be unscathed.

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.

THE IRISH TIMES