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Dundalk review: Great Soprano justifies favourite tag

Updated: Friday, 21 Dec 2012 22:49 | Comments

Great Soprano lived up the favourite tag to take victory in Dundalk this evening
Great Soprano lived up the favourite tag to take victory in Dundalk this evening

Tom Taaffe does not have many runners on the Flat but he sent out his first winner on the Dundalk all-weather when Great Soprano rewarded favourite-backers in the second division of the Happy Christmas To All Our Patrons Maiden.

The three-year-old was sent off the 7-4 favourite after running on well to finish fifth at the track last time and Seamie Heffernan made sure he was always close to the action.

Great Soprano travelled nicely into the straight and after going clear a furlong and a half out, he held Heuston by a neck without ever looking threatened.

The first division was also won by the favourite, Gary Carroll getting Lily Of Kenmare (10-11) past market rival La Belle Maison for a neck score to notch another victory for the track's leading trainer, Mick Halford.

Carroll completed a brace when guiding Ger Lyons' Shukhov (12-1) to victory by three-quarters of a length in the Crowne Plaza Dundalk Champions Handicap.

Clare Harrier is having a new lease of life since returning from a near 16-month lay-off and followed up a narrow course and distance victory last month by taking the www.dundalkstadium.com Handicap for one-horse handler David Geraghty.

The 3-1 favourite was partnered by 5lb claimer Colin Keane, who rode a patient race and cut down Alvar in the shadow of the post to win by a neck.

Elleval (11-4) has been threatening to score recently and the David Marnane-trained juvenile was a ready winner of the Dundalk Stadium Light Up Your Night Maiden, clearing away under Fergal Lynch to strike by three lengths.

Jockey and trainer looked about to complete a double when Miss Bella narrowly led in the Crowne Plaza Of Dundalk Handicap, but Ian Brennan conjured a renewed challenge from Tom McCourt's Bangalore Diamond (12-1) and got back up to win by a head.

Rory Cleary charged down the outside late on to snatch the Floodlit Friday Nights At Dundalk Nursery by a length on the Joanna Morgan-trained Desiderata (7-1).

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