Fahamore (right) just holds Abbey Lane
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
The Eddie Harty-trained Fahamore just held on in a driving finish to the rated hurdle at Fairyhouse this afternoon.
'Slippers' Madden conjured a well-timed run from the Kayf Tara gelding to land the spoils in the two-and-a-half mile contest.
7/4 favourite Abbey Lane (from 9/4) was bidding to make a winning return from a 626-day absence and hit the front going to the final flight.
He was tracked through by Fahamore, however, who hit the lead on the run-in. Abbey Lane battled back well close home but was just held by a short-head.
The JP McManus-owned winner was supplementing an impressive success at Limerick on St Stephen's Day.
“I thought the 10lb he got for winning at Limerick was fair enough at the time. It was a hefty enough penalty for the type of race but he (the handicapper) was proved right,” said Harty.
“He's won his two races this year and we can't ask anymore. He handled the ground, which is a huge plus in the present climate, and trip wise that would be his minimum.”
Champion jockey Davy Russell picked up a one day ban for his use of the whip on Start Me Up (finished ninth).
The stewards felt Russell continuously used his whip after his chance of winning or being placed had clearly gone. His previous record was taken into consideration.
(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)