The Last Indian (Pat Smullen) beating Ecoeye
©Healy Racing Photos
By Alan Magee
The Last Indian’s highly progressive form continued as the four-year-old completed a hat-trick in the Byrne Family Handicap at Listowel.
The Captain Rio filly started her winning run off the lowly mark of 35 last month, and successive hikes for wins at Tipperary and Navan proved no problem once again under Pat Smullen.
Aidan Howard’s charge went off an easy to back 100/30 favourite and Smullen elected to sit in just off the strong pace set by recent course winners Hurricane Twister and Intense Stylist.
The pace-setters cried enough in the straight and it was left to Ecoeye and The Last Indian to fight it out in the final furlong, with the latter getting on top in the closing stages to prevail by three quarters of a length.
The pair stretched eight lengths clear of Intense Stylist in third.
Smullen is now just one behind Colin Keane (68-67) in the Flat jockey’s title race.
Howard said, “I was very worried about the ground but Pat twisted my arm and he was one hundred per cent right. My staff have done a great job keeping her healthy and fit as the family are all quirky.
“We may look at another handicap, and then we will go hurdling. She has a mark of 83 over hurdles.”