Speed Dial (black & white) stays on strongly under Tim Carroll
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Speed Dial recorded his third win of the season as he took the Start The New Year at Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle for Pat Hughes and Tim Carroll.
The 8yo son of Medicean was unlucky on a couple of occasions earlier this season but he finally got his head in front at Wexford last month and he followed up ten days later over the course and distance.
He finished fourth behind Court Jester at Down Royal on St Stephen's Day and was sent off the 5/2 favourite to get back to winning ways this afternoon.
Given a patient ride by Tim Carroll he came with his challenge on the run-in and he quickened up well to score by two and a quarter lengths at the line.
Acriveen finished second at 3/1 under Adam O’Neill for John Berry while Sands Cove stayed on well to finish just a head back in third at 8/1 under David Casey.
Pat Hughes said afterwards: "I'm delighted with that. He went to the north with 11-11 on his back and that steadied him up a bit. He made a bit of a mistake three out there and the ground was a lot worse there.
"He quickened great today and I said to Tim beforehand that he has more speed than these and that you know where the winning post is. He didn’t really jump until three out, he was just popping away.
!I probably put a saddle on him around twice between his races just for a hack or a walk as he doesn’t need to work."
(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)