Simply Sideways and Sean Bowen © Photo Healy Racing
Tim Doyle is enjoying a good year with his dual purpose team and Simply Sideways is certainly leading the way as the mare recorded her fourth win of the current campaign in the Tote Ireland Handicap at Listowel.
The six-year-old daughter of Sir Prancealot started her winning run off a mark of 48 this spring and following further victories at Naas and last time in Clonmel, a rating of 71 proved no problem here.
Sean Bowen, whose claim will be reduced to 5lb after riding his 30th career winner, had the 4/1 favourite prominent throughout and she travelled strongly to assert off the home turn.
Bowen could afford to take things easy inside the final 150 yards as she beat Independent Expert by a comfortable two and a half lengths. Eloquent Arthur was a further two lengths back in third.
Doyle said, "I can't believe how much she has improved all year long. She started out rated 50 and in the past month has improved a stone and a half - for a six year old mare I can't believe it but her attitude is right.
"Today was her most impressive and everything came in her favour, with the ground and stepping up to 1m1f has been a help. Sean has won three times on her and has had five wins from eight rides for me but it is a pity he is suspended for the rest of the season.
"I had no runner for four months last summer as the horses just weren't right. That definitely helped though as they had an idle year, got dropped without running and we started our year with all our horses rated 50!
"They are healthy this year and weren't last year. They weren't coughing - it wasn't a lung thing but their systems just fell apart and couldn't take work. Because they weren't healthy, they were out in the field most of the summer and we have continued that.
"It has been an amazing month."
Quotes by Tom Weekes