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Michael Graham

Michael Graham

Lieutenant Command earns his stripes over fences

Lieutenant Command pops the lastLieutenant Command pops the last
© Photo Healy Racing

Lieutenant Command (8/1) put in a fine front-running performance on chasing debut in the opening beginners' chase at Fairyhouse.

The lightly-raced seven-year-old gelding jumped from fence to fence but was closed up on the home bend by the well-backed Max Flamingo

The leader popped the second last nicely for Bryan Cooper and had his challenger under a drive from Paddy O'Hanlon on the run to the final fence.

Max Flamingo (5/2f from 13/2 in the morning) tried hard on the run-in but was unable to reel in the winner and went down by a length and three parts. Floueur (9/1 from 12/1) ran a solid race in third.

Noel Meade said: “He was brilliant when we schooled him. Pat Doyle had him as a point-to-pointer.

“We always thought a lot of him when he ran in bumpers and we were really looking forward to him last year. He won and then he got worse and worse and I don’t know why.

“He’s in the three-mile race at Leopardstown over Christmas and the race in Limerick so we’ll see what happens.

“He handled the ground but I would think he’d like it easier.”

The grey son of Kendargent has now landed a bumper, a maiden hurdle and a beginners' chase.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee