The grey Captain Joy has the measure of Russian Soul as they approach the line
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Course and distance winner Captain Joy gained a deserved victory in the Dundalk Stadium - Light Up Your Night Handicap, providing his jockey Ronan Whelan with a double on the card.
Trained by Tracey Collins, the 3yo grey son of Dark Angel has been placed on his four starts since his win over the course and distance last December.
Sent off the 10/3 favourite, the Herb Stanley owned gelding raced in fourth in the early stages before closing on the leaders from over two furlongs out.
He hit the front inside the final furlong and he stayed on well under pressure to win by three parts of a length.
Russian Soul, who beat the winner here in September but was fourteen pounds worse off today, ran a highly creditable race to finish second under Conor Hoban for Mick Halford at 7/2.
The Harry Rogers trained Elusive Ridge finished a further length and a quarter back in third under Danny Mullins (finished second aboard Dubh Go Leir at Thurles this afternoon) at 8/1.
Tracey Collins said afterwards: "I am very pleased and he was due a turn. The first two are decent and they have been knocking against each other a few times here.
"Ronan's three pound claim was a big help. He is a horse that needs good ground which he hasn’t got all year.
"He is fit and well and we will keep him on the go here."
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)