La Oliva Pips Friday In A Thriller

Fri 25th Jan 2013, 21:17

La Oliva (middle) just gets home from First Friday and co at Dundalk Conor Hoban completed a 440/1 Dundalk double when just getting La Oliva home by a short head from First Friday (6s this morning into 100/30 fav) in the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Handicap at Dundalk.

Neither of the principals appeared to be exactly 'bursting a gut' to get to the finish line in front but it was the Paul Flynn-trained La Oliva that was marginally in front when it mattered most.

Hoban, earlier a winner on another outsider in Atlas Peak, said: "She travelled sweetly but she didn't do a lot when she hit the front. It helped when Danny (Mullins) and First Friday came to me.

"It was tight but I thought I'd held on."

Saint By Day was one of the fancied ones here as he attempted to supply Michael Halford and Shane Foley a treble.

He could only beat one home though and was subsequently found to be slightly lame on his near-fore. Foley saidp>Saint By Day lost his action in the straight.

The trainer of Indian Arch, Thomond O'Mara was fined 65 Euros for his failure to fit a tongue-tie to his horse before his charge entered the parade ring.(MG & EM)

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.