Strong Johnson leads home Golden Eye Diamond and Cactus Tree
©© Photo Healy Racing
By Donal Murphy
After winning the opener on Flaming Moon, Colin Keane doubled his tally aboard Strong Johnson in the Troytown Bar & Cafe Maiden.
Unplaced on his first two starts, the Kieran Cotter trained bay ran a huge race to finish second at 66/1 on his most recent outing at Down Royal in August.
As short as 2/1 in early shows, the son of Le Cadre Noir proved easy-to-back on-course, opening at 11/4 before drifting out to a starting price of 7/2.
A full-brother to stable mate Polly Douglas (who runs in the next), the bay gelding raced prominently throughout in the colours of owner/breeder David Mooney.
Ridden to the front from the furlong pole he soon asserted, going on to score by a length and three parts.
Golden Eye Diamond (14/1) ran on well to take second under Adrian O'Shea, while Cactus Tree (8/1) was another three lengths back in third.
Son And Sannie was sent off the 9/4 favourite and after racing prominently, he faded from the furlong pole, eventually finishing fourth.
"We're delighted with that. We thought he had improved a nice bit from Down Royal, he's just a big raw backward horse," said Cotter.
"We felt he had improved sufficiently enough to win this. I know the other horse (Son And Sannie) was fancied, and had a good run in the Curragh, but this lad is smart enough.
"Hopefully he'll be able to compete in some of the better handicaps next year. Colin thinks he'll still improve more and hopefully we'll have a good bit of fun with him.
"His full-sister runs in the next and hopefully we can do the double, we're half way there!
"Colin seems to think he'd handle Dundalk so we'll have a look at the calendar. He's had a very easy year."
The win puts Colin Keane five ahead of Donnacha O'Brien (95-90) in the race to be crowned champion jockey.
* The Stewards fined J.H. Scott, trainer, E350 for lodging a passport in respect of Amaretto Stone, in which the vaccinations did not conform with the provisions of Rule 91. The Stewards ordered the withdrawal of Amaretto Stone in accordance with the provisions of Rule 90.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson