War Hero takes top honours at Dundalk

Saturday, Feb 10 2018

War Hero continued his excellent run of form with an all-the-way win in Dundalk's Shabra Charity Race.

Patrick Prendergast's colt had finished in the first two on his previous five starts and Ronan Whelan was able to dictate terms to suit himself on the 4-5 favourite.

His main market rival Boragh Steps emerged as the chief danger, but War Hero had plenty more to give and stuck to his guns to register a length-and-three-quarter verdict.

Prendergast said: "Ronan said it will do his confidence a lot of good. He is a very genuine horse but it's good for him to win after finishing second three times in row.

"This was an afterthought as the plan was to win last week and then freshen him up, but I saw this race and said I'd put him in it. I was surprised at the ratings that he slotted in so nicely and I couldn't resist.

"He deserves a little break now. We might find one more race up here and then wait for the dry ground, which could be a while!"

Highly Approved broke through in the Dundalk Stadium Business Club 2018 Maiden.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained 11-2 chance took the lead off Luna's Luck a furlong out and Wayne Lordan kept her going to score by three-quarters of a length.

Lordan said: "She had been running very consistent. Her early form was good enough to win it, and back to six (furlongs) wasn't a problem.

"She was drawn a bit wide but she jumped good and I was able to get a good position."

Reckless Lad (100-30) came out best in a three-way finish to the alska Swedish Cider Handicap.

Red Avenger looked the likely winner when cruising up to tackle long-time leader Carried, but found less than expected, whereas Reckless Lad stuck his neck out for Killian Leonard to deny the rallying Carried by half a length.

Trainer Pat Martin said: "Everything was in front of Killian and I thought he judged it to perfection. He felt a furlong out that Red Avenger was running all over him and that he had to go then to have any chance.

"He switched up the inside and picked up really well for him, and battled when he had to then."

Easy Boy completed a double for Martin and Leonard when claiming the Visitcarlingford.com Handicap at odds of 15-2.

Ross Coakley produced Storm Ryker (9-2) with a perfectly-timed challenge to land the Hibernia Steel Apprentice Handicap for Michael Halford.

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