Optional Mix and Jordan Gainford © Photo Healy Racing
Optional Mix dug deep on the run-in to repel the challenge of Handsworth in the Jim and Kay Whitty Memorial Handicap Chase at Wexford.
Jordan Gainford made the running on the Eoin Doyle-trained mare and she found plenty in the closing stages.
The well supported 5/4 favourite (9/4 this morning) didn't get very high at the last fence but had enough up her sleeve to hold on at the line for a half length win.
Optional Mix had been runner-up on two outings this season and she was recording a third win on the track to add to a point-to-point success.
Doyle said:- "The horses have been knocking on the door and I thought she was going to be second again today but thankfully she kept at it.
“She is a good tough mare and was very unlucky last weekend. We were just a bit worried coming back so soon on heavy ground but there wasn't that many opportunities coming up for her.
“Jordan gave her a great ride and it's the first winner we have had in a while. Hopefully it's onwards and upwards from here. The horses have been running well without winning.
"She might be one off a light-weight in a good handicap but today was the plan and she got it done.
"She travels very strongly on the bridle. Jordan said they were taking her on a bit and that she was running a bit on her nerves. She jumps great. We might give her a little chance now and run her again at Limerick over Christmas.
"Gerry and Christina Hughes own her. They are very good people from Galway and have been great supporters. They are going away to a wedding soon so they'll enjoy it even more now."
(Quotes by Donal Murphy)