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Thursday 20 June 2019

Kara-win!

FIRST CLASS: Karawaan and Colin Keane triumph in the Tote Irish Lincolnshire at Naas yesterday. Photo: Racing Post.
FIRST CLASS: Karawaan and Colin Keane triumph in the Tote Irish Lincolnshire at Naas yesterday. Photo: Racing Post.

Karawaan ran out a decisive winner of the Tote Irish Lincolnshire at Naas.

The 100,000 euro contest is the traditional feature on the first day of the Irish turf Flat season and another competitive field of 20 runners went to post.

Heavily-backed 6-1 favourite Warnaq set out to make all the running and was still in the lead racing inside the final two furlongs.

But his effort soon petered out, passed first by Trading Point before 9-1 shot Karawaan - making his first appearance for Ger Lyons, having been trained in Britain by Sir Michael Stoute - took the initiative.

The five-year-old, despite being off the track since last June, showed no signs of rustiness and galloped on strongly in the hands of former champion jockey Colin Keane to emerge victorious by two and three-quarter lengths.

Trading Point (25-1) filled the runner-up spot, while Master Speaker (12-1) made late gains to beat Warnaq to third place.

Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother Ger, said: "He hasn't missed a day since Gaelic Bloodstock purchased him. He's done a lot of cantering to get a good base into him. We weren't sure how he'd cope with the ground - his action at home suggested he could handle it, although you're never sure until you run them.

"Colin said he got a great feel off him going down to the start, and he galloped through the ground.

"A lot of credit goes to David Spratt, and Gaelic Bloodstock who purchased him, and we'll make a plan now."

Meanwhile, Normandel won a thrilling renewal of the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes at Naas. With trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning having already enjoyed two winners on the season-opening card, Normandel was a 14-1 shot to complete a 5,354-1 treble in this one-mile Group Three.

Dermot Weld's 6-4 favourite favourite Yulong Gold Fairy looked to be travelling the best approaching the final furlong but couldn't reel in Normandel.

The Fozzy Stack-trained Hand On Heart (20-1) flashed home from further back to almost join Normandel on the line, but the judge confirmed Bolger's charge had held on by a head.

Yulong Gold Fairy was half a length further away in third.

Bolger said: "She will stay at around seven furlongs or a mile. She won a Listed race in France at a mile and a quarter, but I think she's better at seven or a mile.

"She handles that ground well. She's a very sound filly."

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