Cyrus Dallin picked up a valuable prize with victory in the Brandon Hotel Handicap at Listowel on Wednesday.
Quizical and Laughifuwant swung for home matching strides in seven-furlong affair, but Joe Doyle joined them on the Denis Hogan-trained winner at the furlong pole, and he dug deep from there to get his head in front and hold the determined Laughifuwant by a length and a half.
Doyle said: “He did it really nicely, and has been in great form his last couple of runs. He loves that ground.
“We thought the draw would be a big problem, but he has plenty of early speed and we got a good position. He put the race to bed really nicely.
“I’m very fortunate to be with Denis. He gave me my first winner seven years ago, and to come back and ride a winner for him at Galway, at the Curragh and at Listowel is brilliant. We work so hard in that yard and it’s nice to get the winners on these days.
“The horses are in flying form and that’s due to the hard work of all the lads at home. I’m lucky I get to ride them in races.”
Hot favourite Angel’s Amy was pulled up by Gary Carroll not long after leaving the stalls. Sadly, she subsequently had to be put down after suffering a serious injury in her hind quarters.
Shekhem got off the mark at the fourth time of asking in the Exchange Inn Ballybunion & Kevin’s Bar Listowel Irish EBF Maiden.
Given a positive ride by Chris Hayes, the Michael Halford-trained colt made all to beat 9-10 favourite Louisiana by two and three-quarter lengths.
Hayes said of the 2-1 scorer: “He was probably a little bit unfortunate that he bumped into two quality colts of Aidan O’Brien’s in Galway and the Curragh.
“He dropped back in trip with an ease in the ground, but he’d plenty of experience and thankfully the boss said to let him use his stride and his pace. He settled nicely and quickened up. He was pricking his ears in front, and I think he’s a nice horse.”
Facethepuckout (6-1) was a most impressive winner of the Listowel Arms Handicap.
What looked an open contest beforehand was turned into an one-horse affair by the Leigh Roche-ridden three-year-old, who powered clear once mastering Dancing On A Dream, whom he had tracked for much of the way, before the quarter-mile pole.
Yafordadoe came through to take second place from 9-2 market leader Dancing On A Dream.
Winning trainer Michael O’Callaghan said: “We’ve got to know him now, he’s sweetened up lovely and seems a different horse there today.
“Leigh got a nice position and he’s fit and well. He went through the ground, and maybe that exaggerated the distance a bit.
“We’ll enjoy today. The lads are great supporters, and that means a lot to them.”
Gavin Cromwell and Jonathan Moore enjoyed a double with Darver Star and Jeremys Flame.
Darver Star (evens favourite) completed a hat-trick in the Ballygarry House Hotel Novice Hurdle, disposing of Doctor Duffy by three lengths under Jonathan Moore.
“He was supposed to win on ratings and it was a good performance. I don’t know if he really enjoyed that ground, but he got away with it,” said Cromwell.
“When he jumps a fence he might improve again, and there is a good chance he could go chasing this season.”
Jeremys Flame (10-1) had to survive a stewards’ inquiry after holding All Those Years by half a length to make a winning debut over jumps in the M.S.D. Animal Health Maiden Hurdle.
“The way she won her bumper she’s a proper mare, but she’s very difficult,” said Cromwell.
“If you could keep a lid on her she is potentially a very nice mare. She has some black type already in a bumper, so we could look for more over hurdles.”
Franklyn (7-4 favourite) could turn out again on Thursday after making all the running in the Seamus Mulvaney Bookmaker Handicap.
Aidan Howard has not ruled out the one-mile Byrne Family Handicap for the three-year-old who never saw another rival as he struck by four and a quarter lengths.
“We’ll see how he is. He didn’t seem to have too hard a race.”