Lizzies Champ and Davy Russell clear the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Pat Kelly and Davy Russell renewed acquaintances to take the Irish Examiner Handicap Hurdle with Lizzies Champs.
Kelly and Russell have of course proved a formidable team in the past, winning the Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival for the last two years in-a-row.
Lizzies Champ was recording his second career success this evening, justifying favouritisim in doing so.
Placed twice earlier in the year, he then disappointed when sent off favourite with Ruby Walsh aboard at Ballinrobe in May.
He was again placed on his most recent start at Roscommon, and he was sent off the 4/1 market leader this evening (15/2 last night) with Davy Russell in the saddle.
Settled behind the leaders on the inner, he was seventh with a circuit to race, taking closer order on the approach to the straight.
The son of Robin Des Champs got to the front after three out, and went a few lengths clear after the next, keeping on well to score by a comfortable two and a quarter lengths.
Ardera Cross (8/1) finished second under Brian O'Connell for Eoin Doyle, while Iusetaluvheronce (9/1) was a neck back in third for Andrew Lynch and Pat Neville.
Billy De Kid (20/1) completed the placings another two and a quarter lengths back in fourth.
Kelly said afterwards: "He'll be entered at Galway but I'll see as he is only a five year old. His owner Tom Kelly will want to run at Galway. He wasn't able to make it today, he's a very good owner."
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes