Warrior much too strong in Dundalk battle

Saturday, Nov 11 2017

Michael Halford has high hopes for Platinum Warrior, who completed a double for Pat Smullen in the Light Up Your Night At Dundalk Stadium (C & G) Maiden.

Halford's colt was touched off over course and distance last month and after tracking front-running stable companion Pienta before being unleashed early in the straight, the 5-2 chance powered home to account for Pienta by seven and a half lengths.

National Security was all the rage on his debut for Jim Bolger but was never a factor and finished well beaten.

Halford said: "He's a nice horse, is growing away and he's still a bit on the weak side. We'll put him away now for the winter and he'll be a lovely horse to look forward to next spring.

"He'll probably always want a bit of nice-ish ground and it's only starting to happen for him really. He's got a very easy way of doing everything and he's just improving.

"He picked up well from his last run here as well. He was lame after that night as he had a drop in his foot so it was a good effort. He doesn't take a lot of work as he's light-enough framed and we just kept him ticking over since.

"You'd have to think he's a black-type horse. He's got the physique and the pedigree so we'll dream away."

Menelik and Rivellino fought out the finish of the Dundalk Stadium Claiming Race, and Smullen had to be at his strongest to get the former home by a head at odds of 5-2.

Fresh from being crowned champion apprentice last weekend, Oisin Orr steered Commander Won to victory in the Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship Apprentice Handicap.

The 9-2 chance went for home inside the final couple of furlongs and crossed the line with four lengths in hand of Mandarin Monarch.

Trainer Dermot McLoughlin said: "He said he did it easy. He enjoyed himself and when he hit the front he said it was all over. He just stays galloping.

"We might step up in trip, he's straightforward and we have a few options and we'll see how we go.

"He'll probably jump a hurdle in time but we might not run him on real winter ground but we'll keep him going and then maybe when it dries out, in February or March time, he might pop a hurdle again."

Orr doubled up on 6-4 favourite Timia in division two of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Handicap.

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