Evason claims Navan thriller
Published 23/10/2013 | 22:46
Jim Bolger's Evason edged out Ballydoyle runner Belisarius in a thrilling climax to the Bet Online At thetote.com Maiden at Navan.
Evason was runner-up behind Aidan O'Brien's Racing Post Trophy candidate Buonarroti on his racecourse debut at Tipperary earlier this month and was a 4-1 shot for his second assignment, with O'Brien's twice-raced Belisarius the 4-7 favourite.
The latter looked to be travelling the better of the two halfway up the straight, but Evason dug deep into his reserves to keep in the fight and they passed the post almost as one.
The photo finish revealed Evason and Kevin Manning had held on by a nose.
Bolger's assistant, Ger Flynn, said: "Kevin said he's a tough horse and he broke smart today. He dwelt the last day at Tipperary and was always out the back, but came home well.
"Kevin said he travelled well today and handled the ground. He could be a stakes horse for next year."
Golden Amber (15-8 favourite) made it third time lucky with a runaway success in the Tote Pick Six Maiden.
Third on her first two starts, she swept clear in the hands of Billy Lee to beat Iveagh Gardens by four and a half lengths.
Winning trainer Willie McCreery said: "I'm delighted with her as I thought I was being a bit mean on her running three times quickly. She flew through the ground and Billy said she handled it a lot better than he thought she would. She has a quick, choppy action.
"Billy didn't have to hit her, she carried him lovely and enjoyed herself. I haven't been hard on her as she's so small but she's improved herself. I don't think there is anything else for her (this season) and she'll start off early next year."
Star apprentice Colin Keane recorded another winner as he continues to battle for the young riders' championship and he narrowed the gap to Connor King to five when getting Cristal Fashion home in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Fillies Maiden.
The Ger Lyons-trained filly was given a very positive ride and kept on well for pressure to beat the Bolger-trained pair Intense Debate and Intense Light by three lengths and four and a half.
Shane Lyons, brother of the winning trainer, said: "I'm delighted for Jim McDonald the owner/breeder. He absolutely adores her and when she came to us last January she had a coat like it was the summer. He does his horses really well.
"There are no races for her the rest of this season. We took a chance with the ground but she handled it well. She is by Jeremy and will want a mile at least next season.
"That's another winner for Colin. It gets him a little closer but it's going to be tough."
Keane came very close to getting within four of King when an enterprising ride on Face Value nearly came off in the Tote Mobile Betting Handicap.
Keane opened up a huge gap on the rest and was still clear entering the final furlong on the Ado McGuinness-trained five-year-old, who won the race last year.
As he began to come back to the field Fran Berry's mount Quick Jack (7-2) reeled him in and was just able to get in front in the shadow of the post, scoring by half a length.