Chicago School, near side, swoops in Dundalk
©© Photo Healy Racing
By Michael Graham
Chicago School came home strongly to land the opening five furlong handicap at Dundalk by a head.
English-raider Fast Act broke well under Ben Coen to take the field along but the pair were swallowed up at the furlong pole.
Bluesbreaker and Andrew Slattery picked up the lead and went for home but Chicago School was making relentless headway towards the lead.
From fourth at the furlong pole, he improved to second with 150 yards to race and stayed on well for Conor McGovern to get up in the final strides at 8/1.
Runner-up Bluesbreaker was a 25/1 chance while a neck further back, between the pair, at 6/1.
The winner traded as big as 16/1 this morning. Danz Gift, the 4/1 favourite, could make no impression on the leaders in seventh.
Trainer Anthony McCann said: "Conor was very good on him. He's with me full time and joined us about two months ago. The key to this horse is just to let him find his feet and he'll come home.
"I was just a little bit afraid of stepping him back to five but in Newcastle he showed a lot of pace and if it had of been five in Newcastle he was a winner all day. I told Conor to jump him off and be very confident on him and whatever he's doing he's going to be finishing well.
"The horses are in good form and a lot of credit goes to the boys in the yard. I was away on holidays for two weeks and only got back on Sunday and they kept the whole ship going. It's good to have a good team behind me, between owners and staff.
"He'll come back here if he's not sold."
This race was confined to riders who have not ridden more than 10 winners under any National Hunt Rules or Rules of Racing from 26th March to 12th December inclusive.
Additional reporting by Alan Magee