By Donal Murphy
Forjoethepainter landed a gamble as he provided his trainer Tony Mulholland with his second winner in Ireland when taking the Goggin Buckley Engineering Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by Rob Jones (second winner of the Limerick Christmas Festival after Ponmeword yesterday), the winner opened at 20/1 this morning with Paddy Powers but opened on track at just 10/1 and was backed into 7/1 at the off.
The 7yo son of Rudimentary was making his eleventh start this afternoon and he had shown very little before today.
He raced in mid-division for much of the contest and had plenty to do when making progress from the third last flight.
He managed to get to the front before the second last and he was soon in command as he went on to score by three and a quarter lengths.
I'lltelimar King finished second at 11/1 under Sean McDermott for Patrick Neville while Quigleys Express was a further neck back in third under Brian Cawley for Paul Gilligan at 14/1.
Sherika was sent off the 7/4 favourite for Grainne O’Connor and Mark Enright but she ran no sort of race and finished last of the nine runners.
Tony Mulholland, who trains in who trains in Cootehill, Co Cavan, said afterwards: "That's not a surprise. It takes him a few races to get fit and he loves the heavy ground.
"He won a schooling race at Fairyhouse recently. Rob gave him a good positive ride.
"He will be kept over hurdles now but will go over fences then in a few months’ time. I have 12 to 14 horses in training at the moment."
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)