Carroll Times It Well Aboard Dial

Sat 15th Dec 2012, 15:27

The grey Luke's Benefit leads Speed Dial over the last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Speed Dial followed up on his win at Wexford last week as he took the Fairyhouse Membership 2013 Handicap Hurdle under Tim Carroll for trainer Pat Hughes.

The 7yo son of Medicean was unlucky on a few occasions earlier this year but he gained a deserved win at Wexford and made it two on the bounce this afternoon.

Sent off the 4/1 favourite, he came with his challenge at the last under a patient Tim Carroll ride. He hit the front on the run-in and stayed on well from there to score by a length at the line.

The gambled (was 16/1 overnight with Paddy Powers, opened on track at 9/2 and was returned 6/1) on Denis Hogan trained and ridden Luke’s Benefit lead into the straight but could offer no more when headed by the winner.

Prince Of Milan finished just half a length back in third under Davy Russell for Andy Slattery at 9/2 (was 6/1 with Paddy Powers this morning).

Pat Hughes said afterwards: "He didn’t get home at Wexford (won by just a short head) and was in front too soon. There is only one winning post so I told Tim to come late on him and he rode him perfectly. He is a good rider.

"He might go to Leopardstown now but there is a bit of a rise to the finish there and I am trying to pick easy tracks for him."

(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)

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.

THE IRISH TIMES