Performer goes solo at Roscommon
Solo Performer ploughed a lone furrow out wide all the way in the Tulsk Handicap at Roscommon and it paid off for trainer Harry Rogers and jockey Chris Hayes.
The eight-year-old (8-1) was in front for most of the way as he sought the better ground, but Alhellal put in a strong challenge and briefly led coming down the straight. Solo Performer was not be denied, however, and pulled out all the stops to get the verdict by half a length.
Hayes explained: "We said beforehand we would go out and do our own thing as he likes to freewheel. I headed for the ambulance tracks. He can't get it hard enough. When I was trotting down I thought that was best for him. (Alhellal) headed me in the straight and that helped me as he was doing nothing in front."
David Wachman's Bronte (4-5 favourite) has been three times second and she finally got her head in front in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
She raced in second for most of the way before engaging Surreal in a duel up the straight, getting on top inside the final furlong and coming away to win by two and three-quarter lengths under Wayne Lordan. Stable companion Goddess Of Love snatched second close home.
The winning jockey said: "She was entitled to do that. The ground was a little slow for her, she likes it faster. She travelled well and picked up, but she didn't pick up as well as I thought due to the ground. She deserved that."
Hurricane Season was played late in the www.roscommonracecourse.ie Handicap, but Eric McNamara's Air Chief (14-1) arrived on the scene even later, snatching a nose victory on the line under Emmet McNamara.
When attentions switched to the jumps there was a tremendous finish to the Sean Naughton Auctioneer Maiden Hurdle and it went to Paul Townend on the Philip Rothwell-trained Faanan Aldaar (4-1), who rallied to beat the odds-on Courage by a head.
Colm Murphy's 14-1 shot Cara's Oscar wore down the front-running Imperial Shabra going to the last in the Athlone Handicap Hurdle and was driven out by Robbie Power to win by three and a quarter lengths.
The trainer said: "I'm delighted with that. He got a little wind job and it seems to have turned him inside out. His wind just seemed to be catching him. I was a little worried about the ground as it was on the soft side. Puppy (Robbie Power) was good on him. He kept him wide on ground they hadn't raced on. I imagine he'll keep going now."