Manalapan made his debut on the track in a Group 3 a fortnight ago and belied his 40/1 SP with a cracking effort behind Parish Hall with AFONSO DE SOUSA a close third. The latter didn't settle in front and gave way inside the final furlong but with more restraining tactics he can reverse the form and get back to winning ways. Cardinal Palace won so easily at Bellewstown that he was sent to Ascot for a tough handicap. He ran reasonably well before coming here and beating Paene Magnus, who was conceding 11lb, in good style. The runner-up has to be respected on the revised terms while Sweet Lightning has been coming up against stiff opposition since landing the Irish Lincolnshire in March.
Paene Magnus (IRE) 7-2fav (10-0) Soon raced in moderate 2nd, closed 4f out, led 2f out, soon strongly pressed, headed and kept on same pace inside final furlong, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Cardinal Palace (9-3) at Dundalk 1m 3f hcp pol.
Sweet Lightning 12-1 (9-13) Towards rear, ridden and progress on outer 2f out, kept on without threatening final furlong, 7th of 20, 7l behind Moran Gra (8-13) at Curragh 1m hcp gf in Sep.
Afonso De Sousa (USA) 5-4fav (9-3) Attempted to make all, keen hold, raced a little away from rail, pressed 2f out, headed from 1 1/2f out, no impression inside final furlong and dropped to 3rd close home, 3rd of 8, 1 3/4l behind Parish Hall (9-8) at Dundalk 1m 3f Group 3 stks (3yo+) (1) pol.
Cardinal Palace (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) Soon well off the pace towards rear, headway and switched to outer from over 2f out, challenged from over 1f out, soon drifted back a little left and led, stayed on well, won at Dundalk 1m 3f hcp pol beating Paene Magnus (10-0) by 1 1/2l, 11 ran.
Magnolia Ridge (IRE) 12-1 (9-3) Mid-division, ridden entering straight, 6th 1f out, stayed on well final furlong to go 2nd close home, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind Castle Guest (9-8) at Gowran Park 1m 1f stks 0-85 gd in Sep.
Manalapan (IRE) 40-1 (9-3) Waited with towards rear, ridden and headway before straight, 4th over 1f out, stayed on well to go 2nd close home, not getting to winner, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Parish Hall (9-8) at Dundalk 1m 3f Group 3 stks (3yo+) (1) pol.
Love And Cherish (IRE) 25-1 (8-9) Chased leaders early, soon settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, ridden in 6th 2f out, no extra entering straight, 8th of 9, 11l behind Missunited (9-4) at Galway 1m 4f Listed stks (1) gd in Sep.
Majestic Jasmine (IRE) 7-1 (9-11) Rear of mid-division, no impression from 3f out, behind when eased final furlong, 14th of 15, 25l behind Barack (9-3) at Leopardstown 1m 1f hcp gd in Sep.
Opera Gloves (IRE) 25-1 (9-0) Dwelt a bit, towards rear, pushed along 4f out, no extra in 6th from over 1f out, 7th of 8, 10l behind Parish Hall (9-8) at Dundalk 1m 3f Group 3 stks (3yo+) (1) pol.