Armagh trainer Jim Lambe’s Natal won the Cara Diamonds Chase at the Galway Festival last night under a fine ride from Denis O'Regan.
Natal travelled beautifully throughout for O'Regan and just got the better of the gallant Tasman after a battle in the straight by a length and a half with Paco Jack third.
Lambe said: “He cost €26,000 at the Doncaster Sales and I thought he was the pick of the sale.
“I'm delighted for owner James Callow, who is from Penrith.”
Meanwhile, the current dominant partnership of Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh attempt a rare Galway Plate double this afternoon with firm ante-post favourite Roby De Cimbre on unusually testing ground.
Triumphant with the heavily backed Oslot in last year's renewal of the Summer Festival highlight, this record-breaking team, have had a repeat success firmly on their agenda since today's candidate took the same prep race as Oslot at Newton Abbot in late April.
The difference this time is that their prime fancy won't be accompanied by Ballybrit regular Hoo La Baloo on the trip from Somerset, leaving Royal County Star to head the maximum field of 22 runners.
As well as Oslot, last year's gallant third Ansar — which has been retired recently after an honourable innings — is now an absentee, which leaves Charlie Swan's versatile runner-up to represent last year's form.
Ansar's expert trainer Dermot Weld had been planning this season for Majestic Concorde to step into the void left by the course specialist until the persistent wet weather put paid to that particular long-range strategy.
The advantage numerically lies with owner JP McManus with four in the line-up, including Cool Running — with champion jockey Tony McCoy on board — and Line Ball for Christy Roche, who scored for him with Grimes (2001) and Far From Trouble in 2006.