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Casbah keeps on rocking for Lyons; NAVAN Friday.

Byline: David Jennings

Star performance Casbah Rock, who landed the 1m2f handicap in style off an 18lb higher mark than when his winning sequence began at Dundalk in April CASBAH ROCK began the campaign as a seemingly exposed maiden on a modest mark of 61 but trainer Ger Lyons could be forced to parachute the son of Rock Of Gibraltar into Pattern company after he registered his fourth success of the season in the 1m2f handicap.

Racing off an 18lb higher mark than when he opened his account at Dundalk in April, the 9-4 favourite was given a positive ride by Johnny Murtagh and made all, with the three-length winning margin failing to do him justice.

Murtagh has partnered the fiveyear-old to all of his successes and Lyons said: "Johnny gets on great with him. He's a genuine and very straightforward sort. He's in again at Leopardstown on Thursday and he'll go there if the ground stays fast and he comes out of this well."

Casbah Rock's owner Sean Jones was narrowly denied in the 6f handicap as Murtagh and Lyons had to settle for second spot behind 16-1 shot Patrickswell.

Promising apprentice Leigh Roche was seen at his best, conjuring a late rally out of the seven-year-old grey after being headed 100 yards out by The Reaper.

Winning trainer Marcus Callaghan was glad the rain did not arrive until the horses were down at the start and that it did not have enough time to get into the ground.

He said: "He needs it good to firm. We'll keep him going in handicaps over the summer."

Noel Meade sent out Virgil Earp to win the opener at Wexford but the Castletown trainer was at his local track to see Cloudgazer land a gamble in the 1m2f maiden.

Available at 10-1 earlier in the day, the son of Dalakhani was backed in to 5-2 favouritism and justified the strong support with a workmanlike display under Colm O'Donoghue.

Meade said: "I like this horse.

I think he wants further - a mile and a half or a mile and six - and he'll improve again when he gets that."

Stones Peak benefited from a drop to the minimum trip when coming from last to first to win the 5f handicap under Padraig Beggy.

Winning trainer Pat Martin said of his 10-1 winner: "We've been running her over seven and she's been travelling well. Last time at Down Royal she nearly got brought to a standstill when she was going well.

"Three furlongs out here I thought she was going to be last, but Padraig said they went too fast and came back to her, which probably made her look good."

The opening 6f maiden should produce plenty of winners and Aaraas, who got up in the final stride to collar Perfect Godess, is likely to head into Group company next after impressing her rider Declan McDonogh.

Shane Foley rode an 83-1 double courtesy of Cry For The Moon, who won the 1m5f apprentice handicap in impressive style, and Footcycle, successful in the concluding 1m handicap.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2011
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