Verhoyen and Billy Lee © Photo Healy Racing
Verhoyen repeated his win of 12 months ago in the Spar Shop At The Curragh Handicap and in the process brought his tally at the track to five wins with a typical trail-blazing victory.
The Michael Grassick-trained gelding held a clear advantage at the two furlong pole and kept on strongly under Billy Lee to beat Ice Cold In Alex by two and a half lengths. Midnight Fire was just a head back in third with Jered Maddox completing the places in fourth.
Grassick said, “I was in two minds about running him but in fairness they have done a good job as they always do. The fact that it was later in the day we weren’t sure how much it was going to dry out but it’s lovely safe ground although quick enough for him.
“He’s a devil for anticipating and half the time he misses the break and doesn’t run a race, he half sulks when he doesn’t get to the front but when he pings the gates like that he loves it.
“The handicapper will probably crucify him again and it will take another year for him to win but it’s great to get a winner on this weekend.”