Rory Anna on top from Barneys Honour
By Gary Carson
Top weight Rory Anna pulled away in the closing stages to post a comprehensive success in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle at Gowran Park.
Declan Bates tracked the leaders throughout in the 2m1f event before moving up to challenge three from home on the 12/1 shot (from 10/1).
The John Joe Walsh-trained mare hit the front at the second last but was soon pressed by 9/4 favourite Barneys Honour.
She had to get down to work to deal with that rival but was on top at the final flight and stretched clear on the run-in to post a four-and-a-half length winning margin.
The winner was turning out quickly having been third at Naas just last Saturday.
“She ran well at Naas on Saturday but she won easier than we thought she would here,” said Walsh.
“Declan kept her out wide for better ground and she likes a bit of daylight as well. He gave her a smashing ride. It was his first ride for me and we'll have to think about using him again!”
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)