Captain Joy beats Akasaka
©Healy Racing Photos
Tracey Collins was the trainer in form at Dundalk as she landed a double with Captain Joy and Beat The Ballot.
Captain Joy, the mount of in-form champion apprentice Ronan Whelan, defied a 6lb rise in the ratings for a track victory a fortnight ago in the Christmas Race & Dine Packages Handicap.
The race developed into a duel through the closing stages and the grey (6-4 favourite) managed to overhaul Akasaka in the final 50 yards to score by half a length.
Favourite-backers didn't have a worry in the Floodlit Friday Nights At Dundalk Rated Race as Joseph O'Brien travelled sweetly in second on Beat The Ballot (2-1) before asserting for a length and a half victory. It was the jockey's first win since being crowned champion.
Opera Gloves was a big eyecatcher when third on her debut at the track last month after being slowly away, and Mick Halford's juvenile was sent off the 1-2 favourite for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
She was more prominent this time but still looked green, though she picked up nicely in the end when asked to quicken by Shane Foley, and beat market rival Mischief N Mayhem by a length.
Halford and Foley made it a double when Alvar (14-1) got up right on the line to edge top-weight Ocean Drift by a nose in the second division of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Package Handicap.
Garvan Donnelly's 7-2 favourite Samollie was in cracking form at Dundalk in the first half of the year and returned to his best to win the first division by a head under Seamie Heffernan.
Willie Martin's Farmleigh House (6-5 favourite) faced much the same horses in the Dundalk Stadium Light Up Your Night Handicap as when he won last month, and an 8lb hike made no difference as he came from last to first under Niall McCullagh to score by a length and a half.