JOHNNY Levins has Irish Champions Weekend in mind for Prisoner’s Dilemma who confirmed himself a coming force in the sprint division by taking care of several higher rated opponents in the six-furlong Racing TV Race.

An easy win over this trip at Dundalk back in March suggested that the Epitome Racing-owned six-year-old could be poised to pursue a fruitful avenue of opportunity over shorter trips and he confirmed that impression here. After tracking the pace under Donagh O’Connor the 92-rated gelding moved to the head of the field as the last furlong loomed and he kept on nicely to carry the day by half a length from San Andreas who boasts a rating of 104.

“Donagh was very good on him and he’s done it nicely. We’ll see what he gets for this but I’d be thinking in terms of the Bold Lad Handicap at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend,” said Levins.

Off the mark

Padraig Roche got off the mark for the flat season when Walking On Clouds (7/1) and Declan McDonogh landed the 47-65 rated three-year-old six-furlong handicap.

The Fivers & Tenners Syndicate-owned three-year-old was placed on a couple of occasions last season and was turned out in great shape for his first outing since September. Walking On Clouds came with a steady effort over the last couple of furlongs and landed in front nearing the line to defeat the 15/8 favourite Cherry Bloom by half a length.

“Declan was good on him and he said they went hard and that the horse came home well. A bunch of my friends own him and they also have Walking On Glass and we’ll knock a bit of fun out of him,” reported Roche.

The other sprint handicap, a 47-65 rated affair for older horses, went to the experienced James Lambe inmate Ever Rock (12/1) who took her tally to six wins from 44 career starts. The Richard Behan-owned six-year-old was ridden by Seamie Heffernan for the first time and made much of the running before getting home by a length and a half.

First juvenile winner for O’Donoghue

JOHN O’Donoghue, who recorded his first training success at the Curragh’s second fixture of the season, notched up another milestone as Pearling Path became his first juvenile winner in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over six furlongs.

In the familiar colours of Bahraini Fawzi Nass, this son of Holy Roman Emperor ran quite a nice race on his debut at the Curragh when fifth to Matilda Picotte and he progressed well from that showing. The 5/2 favourite had a nice position tracking the leaders and then Gary Halpin produced him to hold every chance with over a furlong to run. He was soon showing in front and kept on well to defeat the newcomer Spirit Genie by a length and a half.

“We were a bit disappointed on his debut and we were looking for quicker ground which we got today,” observed the trainer. “He’s in the Railway Stakes so we’ll see what everyone wants to do and take it from there.”

The evening began with a winner for Joseph O’Brien and Jake Coen as the tough Snapius (7/2) upstaged the odds on Recurrent Dream on his reappearance outing in the three-year-old claimer over 10 furlongs.

The John Farrell-owned and -bred winner, who held his form well during an 11-race campaign last year and was fitted with first-time cheekpieces, led early in the straight and dished out a four-and-a-half-length beating to the favourite who looked to be in trouble some way from home. James Nash claimed the winner for €20,000 and the runner-up was picked up for the same amount by Newmarket-based trainer Alice Haynes.

Karkiyna comes good for Murtagh

AFTER meeting with an odds-on defeat on her second start of the season when chasing home Stayincotai at Gowran, the Johnny Murtagh-trained Karkiyna (9/4) came good in the CPAC Modular Building Ingenuity Fillies Maiden over seven furlongs.

The Aga Khan-owned filly sported a first-time visor and made the most of her low draw under Ben Coen by showing in front from early on. Over the last quarter of a mile her rivals were struggling to land a telling blow and the 79-rated daughter of Caravaggio kept up an unfaltering gallop to score by three and a half lengths.

Tom Gibney’s Atavique shaped like a future winner when chasing home Rosscarbery in a well-contested handicap at Sligo a number of weeks ago and she duly obliged on her next start which came in the 10-furlong 47-75 rated apprentice riders’ handicap.

A dual winner in England and now in foal, the five-year-old daughter of Dubawi led well over a furlong out for Robert Whearty en route to a length-and-a-half triumph over Barrys Rock.

“It was great to get a winner for Kevin (owner – Haigney Bloodstock Ltd) as he was waiting a long time for one,” remarked Gibney. “Her last run was a lovely run and we were pretty confident we’d be knocking on the door on the back of that. She’d won a couple of England but we felt there might be more to come and the plan was to try and pick up a race before she retired.”