ARMAGH trainer James Lambe is enjoying a purple patch of big-race victories.
Lambe, who won last month's Ulster Derby at Down Royal with Sir Ector, had a stunning success in the €62,500 Grade Three Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary yesterday when Silk Hall made all the running to win the prestigious contest.
The 25-1 shot showed a really willing attitude, once pressurised, to cause a big upset.
Lambe's charge set a reasonable pace from the outset, with Midnight Game and Fosters Cross never too far away.
Steps To Freedom, the 2-1 joint-favourite, arrived with a game challenge two flights from home, but he could not match the finishing kick of Silk Hall, who scampered clear under Eddie O'Connell for a first triumph since August 2011.
Lambe said: "Some people might say we were aiming at pie in the sky running him in this race but if he ran to the form he showed when third in the Scottish Champion Hurdle he had his chance.
"We put blinkers on him during the week as I felt he was getting lazy.
"It's fantastic for Eddie and the plan was to make it a good test.
"He'll go for the Grade C handicap hurdle on the Saturday of Galway."
Sir Ector is another likely to form part of the trainer's team heading to Ballybrit at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, at the Curragh, Dank was rewarded for a fine effort at Royal Ascot when taking the Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh for the in-form Sir Michael Stoute team.
The dual Group Three scorer had finished a close third to Duntle in the Duke of Cambridge Stake and went two places better under a canny Ryan Moore ride.
Moore had the 5-4 favourite poised to challenge in the straight and got first run on the opposition as he forged past Aloof just two under two furlongs out.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Say came from out of the pack but was a never-nearer length and three-quarters down at the line. Caponata was third.
Stoute's partner Coral Pritchard-Gordon said: "I spoke to Sir Michael on the phone and he's absolutely delighted.
"Ryan was thrilled with her and felt she was a better filly today. She is improving and loves the ground.
"All went right for her once she got the gap and she has a great temperament.
"If she continues to improve I presume she will be aimed at a Group One, but I'm not sure where."
East Yorkshire trainer Declan Carroll secured a big prize when Whozthecat (8-1) claimed the Boylesports.com Rockingham Handicap.