dundalk 8th Feb
El Salvador and Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Champion jockey Joseph O'Brien has been trying for a while to get off the mark for 2013 and he finally did it when El Salvador ran away with the Bookings At dundalkstadium.com Maiden under the all-weather track's lights.
The young jockey led all the way from his number one draw and was never troubled, stretching clear down the straight to score by four and a half lengths on his 20th ride of the year.
The result also got the Ballydoyle bandwagon rolling as the four-year-old (5-4 favourite), placed in both his runs last season, is trained by his father Aidan.
Egan hurried the 9-2 shot across from a wide draw and established a prominent position before leading in the straight and holding off all-comers to score by half a length from the unlucky Denny Crane.
There was plenty of confidence behind Sacred Dragon on his debut last month and he ran a promising race to finish second to an experienced rival, so it was no surprise to see him go one better in the Floodlit Friday Nights At Dundalk Maiden.
Teenager Robbie Downey rode his first winner on his third ride when Eddie Lynam's 16-1 shot Atticus Finch landed the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Handicap, leading a quarter of a mile out and holding Golden Shoe by a length and a quarter.
It completed a double for the yard as Wayne Lordan took the www.dundalkstadium.com Rated Race on 9-2 shot Khyber Pass, who saw off the front-running Jouster by a length with favourite Ahimsa, who suffered a rough passage under Joseph O'Brien, pulled up.
Odds-on in the morning, El Salvador went off at 5/4 for the firstname.lastname@example.org Maiden in the face of supporter for the likes of Absolutlyfantastic (10s earlier on into half that price). There was no disputing which horse was superior from over a furlong out though as El Salvador (Joseph O'Brien got a 3 day whip ban in the previous race) raced to a four and a half length success.