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Carroll takes over in title chase

Gary Carroll landed a crucial victory in his fight to retain the apprentice jockeys' title when 11-10 favourite Kalann took the Maiden at Dundalk.

Carroll remains in a three-way fight for the championship with three meetings to go, but he is now on 38 winners, one up on Ben Curtis and three ahead of Joseph O'Brien.

Kalann looked to be going well turning into the straight and led a furlong out, but Sabrina Harty's charge had to be kept up to his work in the end to hold the challenge of Harranda by three-quarters of a length.

O'Brien's cause was not helped when the stewards refused permission for him to ride his father Aidan's Sing Softly at 4lb overweight in the Christmas Parties At Dundalk Maiden.

They decided no "very exceptional circumstances" were presented to them, as required by the rules, and the juvenile was withdrawn.

Pat Smullen is heading for the main jockeys' title and added one to his lead when Zulu Principle took the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Package Maiden.

Dermot Weld's 3-1 shot led in the final furlong and resisted the late surge of favourite Leaves You Baby by a head to give Smullen a seven-winner advantage over nearest pursuer Johnny Murtagh.

Declan McDonogh advertised his talents with a superb front-running ride on joint top-weight Gargano in the Handicap.

Drawn wide, McDonogh sent Joanna Morgan's 10-1 shot straight into the lead and held a massive advantage in mid-race. His rivals appeared to realise the danger too late and Gargano stayed on well to win by three and a half lengths.

David Wachman's juvenile Maundays Bay (11-8) also led all the way in the Christmas Parties At Dundalk Maiden in the hands of Wayne Lordan, who had to work to hold off Adiynara by half a length.


From Belfast Telegraph