Curtis joint leader after a double at Dundalk
Ben Curtis is back on level terms with Gary Carroll in the race for the Irish apprentices' title after a double at Dundalk yesterday.
Wins aboard the Garvan Donnelly-trained Home Secretary and John Murphy's Valbonne saw Curtis move on to 39 winners for the season — the same total as reigning champion Carroll.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s son Joseph, on 35 winners, has an uphill task on his hands to catch the leaders.
The afternoon began well for Carroll when the Kildare youngster shone aboard Sampers in the Group Discounts At Dundalk Stadium Race, the Mick Halford-trained inmate taking the six-furlong affair by a length and a quarter.
Curtis, however, roared back in the next race when outsider Valbonne scored in division one of the fillies' maiden.
Curtis later put the seal on a good day's work when Home Secretary hit the target in the closing 11-furlong handicap.
Fran Berry was also in double form after striking aboard Michael Browne's Ability N Delivery in the opening sprint handicap and then leading home John Oxx newcomer Kirinda in the second division of the juvenile fillies' maiden.
Reigning Flat champion Pat Smullen looks odds-on to retain his crown thanks to his victory aboard Dermot Weld's Zulu Principle at the Louth venue on Saturday. The Offaly man is now on the 93-winner mark.
Meanwhile prospects for the Fairyhouse and Punchestown rescheduled Grade 1 meetings on Wednesday and Thursday failed to improve yesterday, and a decision on Fairyhouse's fixture is expected today.
Today’s meetings at Bangor and Musselburgh are off.