Lanturn's comeback win

 

Lanturn re-established himself as a major force and copperfastened his Galway Plate claims with a stylish comeback victory in the Heineken Chase at Killarney last night.

Injured on his last appearance in a Cheltenham warm-up contest in February, Lanturn had far too many guns for Pas Possible and Merry Gale in the straight with the favourite Cloone Bridge back in fourth.

"He is only back in work for four weeks. A bit of birch went through his boot at Navan and we were seriously wondering about his leg. I even thought I was mad to enter him for this but I was happy with him for the last 10 days," said Lanturn's trainer Pat Hughes who went on to complete an impressive treble.

"He only jumped a fence yesterday when he jumped the same fence about five times. We'll go for the Galway Plate with him now," Hughes added.

The Co Carlow trainer has his string in rare form at present and half an hour after Lanturn, he supplied the nicely backed Akasian to take the two mile handicap in a hard fought finish with the topweight Avoid The Rush. To add to that, Hughes completed his three-timer when the newcomer Lord Native justified favouritism with victory in the bumper from Sister Christian.

Akasian's jockey Jamie Spencer initiated a double of his own with another well backed winner in the mile juvenile maiden, Benovia.

The Frances Crowley trained son of Ridgewood Ben made his challenge on the inside of stable companion Archimedes and proved much too strong for the staying on favourite Fureur France.

"He was showing a lot at home and I'm happy that he's as good as he appeared to be. We'll find him an auction race for winners," said Crowley.

Abaco was a cantering winner of the opening division of the maiden hurdle where his market rival King's Tipp was found to be in post-race respiratory distress.

In contrast the 4 to 9 All The Colours had no market rival in the second division but in the race itself, Charlie Swan's mount Slieve Bernagh fought back on the run in to beat the favourite a head. Richard Dunwoody dismounted from All The Colours after the line and reported him "a bit sore."