Ian Fortune

Monleek Atlanta produced a truly superb run to land the valuable Paddy & Eamon Carroll Memorial at Dundalk on Saturday night.

It’s no exaggeration to suggest he a mountain to climb at halfway with John and Rita Downey’s charge some five and a half lengths behind the pace-setting Rolo Pistachio in third.

Indeed, Francie Murray had the one-two for much of the way as he bid to follow up last year’s victory in the contest as New Alliance was a close second for much of the way.

Armagh Daithi, who went through the prelims unbeaten, completely walked from traps and was never involved. Instead, it was the other dog to go through the qualifying rounds unbeaten, Monleek Atlanta, was offering the only resistance to the Francie Murray contingent.

Still a long way behind the front two around the last two bends, he started to creep closer as they turned for home. He may have been the guts of four lengths back but was now in full stride and the son of Magical Bale and Cats Belle quickly started to bridge the gap.

Rolo Pistachio did all he could to contain his rival in the closing yards but Monleek Atlanta was too strong, getting up on the line to score by a neck in 28.79. Rolo Pistachio had two and a half length in hand on his kennel companion, New Alliance.     

It was a memorable renewal of the Paddy & Eamon Carroll Memorial and the winner certainly had to do things the hard way. Well done to all involved.