dundalk 14th Dec
Captain Joy beats Akasaka
(Healy Racing Photos)
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.
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.