Doc Hollywood leads over the last from Speed Dream (right)
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Doc Hollywood repelled the challenge of Speed Dial to claim the Holycross Handicap Hurdle at Thurles.
Keith Donoghue's mount travelled well to pick up the running after the third last in the two-miler but had to get down to work after an untidy jump two out.
Gillian Callaghan's charge kept on well for pressure and found enough to hold 3/1 favourite Speed Dial at bay by three-parts-of-a-length in the closing stages.
The 7/1 winner had stayed on one-paced to finish sixth at Wexford last time on his return from a 13-month absence.
Barry Callaghan, the trainer's husband, said afterwards:- "He was disappointing last year and had a few niggly problems so we left him off for a while.
"It was probably a blessing in disguise. He came on from his first run back and he's strengthened up a lot.
"He'll make a nice chaser in time but keeping him in one piece is the main thing."
The winner is owned by Ronan Harford, who is the trainer's brother.
Tim Carroll, rider of runner-up Speed Dial, got a three-day whip ban for not giving his mount time to respond.
Francis McCurtin, who got a fall from Sanforized at the fifth flight, was taken to hospital with a suspected back injury.
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)