©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Epic Encounter quickened up in great style to run out an easy winner of the first division of the mile maiden at Dundalk.
Declan McDonogh produced his mount to take over from front-runner Sterling Cooper over a furlong out and the result was soon in no doubt.
The Eddie Lynam-trained gelding pulled away to record a four-length success over well-backed 2/1 favourite Lily Of Kenmare (4/1 in morning).
The winner had been placed on his last two starts, including when third over six furlongs here on his penultimate run.
<Epic Encounter was sent off 13/2 on track but had been a big drifter before racing from 4/1 out to 10/1.
"He's not used to having his picture taken," quipped Lynam after the winner proved reluctant to stand still in the winners' enclosure.
"He did it well and there were a few fancied ones in the race. It's good to get a winner for the owner (Ranjan Mahtani) who is based in Hong Kong and is a gentleman.
"That's the first horse I've had for him. He owns Super Satin who won the Hong Kong Derby (in 2010).
"We needed that as it's been a while since we had one."
Heuston, the subject of support from 25/1 in morning and on course from 16/1 into 7/1, was withdrawn after refusing to load.
20/1 shot Aqua Regia was also withdrawn after refusing to load.
(Additional reporting by Michael Graham)