Leabaland and Ronan Whelan
© Photo Healy Racing
Leabaland defied a hike for his recent Cork success when following up in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap at Dundalk this evening.
Michael Halford's charge had made all for a cosy success 15 days ago but went to post a 10/1 shot today after an 11lb rise for that victory.
Ronan Whelan produced him with a strong run on the outer to lead inside the final furlong of the mile contest and record a neck success over Plum Perfect.
“You can see the size of him, he's a big baby,” said Halford.
“He's a lovely moving horse and the penny is finally starting to drop with him. He's just been a slow developer.
“He's a lovely actioned horse, well balanced and he gets on about the job but he's just been slow to come to hand. He's got it together well.
“I thought the handicapper knew more than I did as I thought he maybe got it easy that day in Cork and he might have been a bit hard on him.
“You can see the price he was today so maybe I wasn't the only one that thought it.
“He's just a big horse that's coming to himself and hopefully he can keep progressing.
“I won't keep him going for too long more, I'll talk to the owners and see what way they are thinking but we might go once more with him.
“He won't go through the whole winter anyway. He'll be a lovely horse for the grass again next spring.”