More quality expected in second round heats
THERE WAS great anticipation in the air on Monday of last week with the first round of the Future Champion Unraced Stake, and there was a big crowd in attendance hoping a new star would appear.
Well, he may have but the general feeling was of a little disappointment but, as with a lot of unraced stakes, this week's second round can give those with big reputations who ran a little off a chance to come good.
Taking it heat by heat, the first saw a 'Forest' win when ' Forest Ollie', owned by Patrick Kehoe, showed well early up the inside to lead and run on determinedly to hold the persistent challenge of 'Kingsmill Rise' by a length in 29.11.
Heat two also saw an inside runner to the fore when 'Ted Be Slick', owned by Liam Butler Jnr., led from his trap one draw and made the best of his way home to beat the hotly-fancied 'Ardera Blaze' by two and a half lengths in 29.22. Heat three was a more troublesome race as 'Kingsmill Cannon' led with 'Archaton Legend' in close proximity, with 'Kingsmill' hampering 'Archaton' down the back, running wide and again off the last bend. This allowed 'Seagrave Duke', owned by John Bolger, to get up close to home to score by a neck from 'Kingsmill', with 'Archaton' three-quarters of a length away in third in 29.69.
Heat four saw a great battle between favourites 'Farloe Zeus' and ' Eamons Monto', with 'Monto' just edging it to the third bend. However, 'Farloe' stayed on the better in the straight to get up to score by three-quarters of a length for trainer Pat Gordon in a time of 29.40.
Heat five saw the star of the first round as the Fraser Black-trained ' Droopys Diarra' upstaged hot favourite 'Cool Dude' when flying out of trap six to race home ten lengths clear of 'Little Bargain' in a blistering 28.70, the best of the round. Heat six went to 'Ambis Gary' who came to the front at the third bend to score by three and a half lengths in 29.59.
Heat seven went to 'Kingsmill Might', owned by Aidan and John Roche. It was a case of third time lucky after two seconds in their heats. 'Might' led and ran on well to hold favourite ' Forest Freddie' by two lengths in 29.43. The eighth and final heat went to ' Sudran Sky', owned by James Nolan and Alex Cooney (Enniscorthy). 'Shy' finished well to get up to beat 'Raha Beauty' by a neck in 29.65. The stats are very interesting on the trap success as trap one is not a trap people want, but in the eight heats, seven runners from trap one qualified, with four winning, so that puts a dint in that train of thought.
In the other two races on the card, the first (an A6) went to 'Rockside Fairy', owned by Martin Monaghan, in 29.35. The last race (an A4) saw ' Ballyboro Boy', owned by John Murphy, score for the first time from nine when racing home a clear three and a half lengths to the good in 29.45. This was a mixed moment for connections as John sadly passed away just last week and it was a fitting result. Ironically, the runner in trap three was named 'Sadly Missed' and so say all of us.
Thursday night's card got started with the third round of the Lily White A4 Sweepstake heat one, and (res. A) 'Make Me Smile' set the pace and looked the likely winner until 'Compass Ken', owned by Helen Wadsworth and John Coleman, got up to score by three quarters of a length in 29.33.
Heat two saw the William Robinsonowned 'Willies Brindle' get out well to always hold the somewhat unlucky 'Piercestown Fire' by a length in a good 29.18. Heat three saw a nice performance from 'Ballinaboola Bob', owned by Christy Murphy, coming from behind to catch 'Imacooper Lee' on the line in 29.35.
The Jeff Kehoe A2 Memorial Sweepstake saw all six heats run. In heat one there was a very impressive eight and a half lengths win for the Paul Hennessy-trained 'Green St Lass' who led and her time was a best of the night 28.67. Heat two saw a good performance from 'Glencroft Design', owned by Jane Roche, who finished well to beat 'Elite Tiger' by two and a half lengths in 29.19.
Heat three went to the Tom Moriartyowned 'Motabeg Blue' who led and ran on well to score in 29.18 despite his jacket flapping loose. Heat four saw Myles and Patrick Roban score with 'Elite Roy' who came through at the third for a snug win in 29.17.
Heat five was the start of a fine double for trainer Nick Turner as the Jim Treacyowned 'Crokers Boy' scored by three and a half lengths in 29.26. Heat six saw an excellent run from 'Tyford Comet', owned by Mairéad O'Gorman (S. Whelan), leading all the way to score by seven lengths in a superb 28.71.
The tenth race, an A0/1 over 550 yards, completed the Turner double when 'Coco Dash', owned by Oliver Flynn (Waterford), led from trap to line and just did enough to hold the five-timer seeking 'Alnswick Oscar' by a short head in 30.55.