Review Dundalk 1st Feb

Fri 1st Feb 2013, 21:40

Pont Alexandre
©Healy Racing Photos

Pique Sous set himself up for a trip to the Cheltenham Festival with a performance that oozed class under the lights at Dundalk.

Sent off the 4-7 favourite for the Bookings At Maiden, the Willie Mullins-trained grey was settled just off the pace from his wide draw by Paul Townend and was always travelling well.

The jockey barely moved a muscle as the six-year-old eased into the lead and stretched away to score by four and a half lengths, giving connections every hope that he might be a force in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in March.

Tracey Collins produced Pencil Hill fit from a 91-day lay-off to come out best in a thrilling three-way finish to the Handicap.

The 10-1 winner was locked in a duel with Inishmot Duchess through the final furlong and Megan Carberry grabbed the verdict by a head, with Copper Dock making late ground to finish a further short head away in third.

Michael O'Callaghan's 4-6 favourite Typhoon Lily was another odds-on shot to score without a moment's worry, exploiting a gap on the rail under Fergal Lynch and powering away before taking the Floodlit Friday Night At Dundalk Fillies Maiden by a length.

Ado McGuinness's mare Cookie Crumbles (9-1) has been running well without winning, but her turn came in the Dundalk Stadium Light Up Your Night Handicap as she led a furlong out and held Tamujin by a head under Leigh Roche.

The jockey, who earlier picked up a three-day whip ban, completed a double when the Willie McCreery-trained La Belle Maison (5-4 favourite) overcame modest opposition to take the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Apprentice Maiden by a length and a half.

Shane Gray kept Damian English's front-running Cash Or Casualty (14-1) going long enough to hold Joseph O'Brien on Ahimsa by a nose in the Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Handicap.

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.