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Racing news Fifteen-day ban for McHugh

Mast storms to Mercury score26th October 2012

Johnny Murtagh produced Balmont Mast with a fine turn of foot in the closing stages to take the feature Mercury Stakes at Dundalk.

Aidan O'Brien's four-time Group One winner Starspangledbanner, who is being primed for a tilt at the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, was sent off the 3-1 favourite and quickly got into contention from a poor outside draw, racing prominently all the way under the trainer's son Joseph.

But he found little for his jockey's urgings in the closing stages as Murtagh scythed through close home to win by a length on the Eddie Lynam-trained winner (7-2), who was following up a course victory this month. Nocturnal Affair took second, with Timeless Call third and Starspangledbanner fourth.

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