Toufan obliges with 10th career success
Johnny Murtagh: prolific jockey was held off on second favourite Like MagicAlan. Photograph: Getty Images
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 annual 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 win, 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 to 1 chance Toufan Express and was always holding the runner-up after moving to the front, prevailing by a length and a quarter.
“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 . . . 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,” said McGuinness.
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 to 2 favourite but could only finish sixth under Seamie Heffernan as the six-furlong prize went the way of 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.
“He’s as tough as nails,” said English of his 11 to 1 winner. “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 . . . it’s paid dividends.”