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Toufan Express shines at sunny Laytown

Updated: Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 20:18 | Comments

Laytown drew a huge crowd on a sunny September afternoon
Laytown drew a huge crowd on a sunny September afternoon

Toufan Express again defied his veteran status as he shot to a popular victory in the Neptune Claiming Race on the beach at Laytown.

The once-a-year fixture attracted a bumper crowd, one bathed in glorious sunshine for much of the proceedings.

Many will have been with the Ado McGuinness-trained 11-year-old, who was second here last year, as he went in search of a 10th career success, having won most recently at the Galway Festival.

Although Johnny Murtagh looked a real threat at the two-furlong marker on Like Magic, Ian Brennan was moving powerfully on 5-1 chance Toufan Express and was always holding the runner-up after moving to the front, prevailing by a length and a quarter.

McGuinness said: "He's been a super horse for us down the years.

"He had a lot of leg trouble and he's been to the beach a lot as it helps him, it keeps him sound. Ian gave him a great ride.

"The sand is a bit slower which helped as they didn't take him off his feet.

"I'm delighted for (owner) Sean Gallagher - that's his first winner at Laytown.

"We thought he was finished last year but he just seems to come back, he's a lovely horse to be able to train. My kids ride him out at home, he's a great temperament.

"Laytown is a local track for me. We often take our horses to the beach where we are situated at home. They love it and it's great for their legs."

Brennan said: "He's a brilliant horse, he's been very good to me.

"During the winter at Dundalk I thought he was finished, but the boss has been great with him. He has terrible legs. You have to fall in love with him, he's a gent and anyone could ride him."

Lambourn trainer George Baker was out of luck with Dana's Present in the Tote Mobile Betting Handicap.

The Baker runner was sent off the 7-2 favourite but could only finish sixth under Seamie Heffernan as the six-furlong prize went the way of the Damian English-trained Enigma Code. Amy Weaver's Emkanaat was eighth.

A multiple winner at Dundalk, Ian McCarthy's mount kept on well to beat Ucanchoose by half a length after a protracted duel.

English said of his 11-1 winner: "He's as tough as nails. He actually ran very well at the Curragh (on Sunday) but it was a no sticks apprentice race and he's the type of horse that just needs a slap.

"I took the decision to put Ian on him here as he's a strong rider and I didn't want him carrying a lot of lead - it's paid dividends.

"He's an eight-year-old now and there's nothing new I can teach him.

"He comes down here every day for a splash in the water - we're only 15 minutes from here."

McCarthy said: "He's tough and Damian does a great job with his horses. He rang me the other day saying that this fella would have a good chance and I took out a Flat licence to ride him."

Nina Carberry rode her first winner since breaking her collarbone in June as she was at her strongest in getting USA (11-8 favourite) home in the Hibernia Steel (Q.R.) Race.

Stephen Mahon's charge led around half a furlong out after collaring Wild China, and Carberry was in no mood to be denied in holding Moonbi Creek by a neck in a driving finish.

Carberry had broken her collarbone when unshipped from Kilapsy on the way to the start for the bumper at Gowran on 23 June.

She said: "It's great to have the ride, Tom (Quinn, owner) is a family friend. I misinterpreted the last furlong, it was a bit longer than I thought, but we got there in the end and it's good to get a winner back."

Captain May (3-1 favourite) went one place better than last year to capture the Gilna's Cottage Inn Maiden.

Owned by former amateur rider Aileen Sloane-Lee and trained by her husband Andrew, the Captain Rio gelding made all to see off That's Plenty by a length and a half.

Sloane-Lee said: "His last piece of work was very good so we were very positive coming here.

"He can be a bit of a monkey at times and it was hard to know his trip.

"Wayne gave him a copybook ride and he did exactly what he was told.

"We'll look for something in Listowel next."

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