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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Relief as action resumes on track

RACING FINALLY got back on Monday of last week with a 7 p.m. start, and the eleven-race card was completed on a slow but safe track. The first race was the first semi of the Ballinaboola Gallop Sweepstake (A5), and 'Rathvilly Red' owned by James Flynn (Enniscorthy) was a very easy winner by seven lengths in 30.37.

The second semi saw another easy winner when 'Ballyboro Dew', owned by John Murphy, led and ran out a clear five and a half lengths clear of 'Moss House Clody' in 30.44.

The Kiltrea Kennels Unraced Stake semis were next, and in the first (trap two) 'Barnarock', owned by Alan Neville, led home 'Forest Echo' and 'Allez Anne' in 30.27. The second semi went to hot favourite 'Proper Pink', owned by Willie O'Connor (Co. Kilkenny), who came through up the home straight to score snugly enough by two and a half lengths from early leader 'Martin Stay' and 'Kingsmill Liz' in third (time, 30.16).

The Track Supporters' A4 Tridistance Stake has also reached the semi-final stage and, with only two to qualify from the three semis, it was tough to get to the final. The first semi (race five) saw 'Solent Rocket', owned by Norman and Susan James (Enniscorthy), come through at the third bend to beat 'Dysert Mistymorn' in 31.56 (550 yards).

The second semi saw an easy win for 'Foxmount Sooty' who led and ran on well to score by five lengths in 31.91, with 'Solent Wambam' getting the second spot. The third semi went to 'Have To Win', owned by Tony Duffy (Dublin 16) and trained by John A. Hand, proving way too good for 'Whitefort Kooda' in a fast 31.08.

The Track Supporters' A2 Tridistance saw 'Ballarue Ben' lead and run on well to hold the challenge of 'Metric Daisy' by a head in 31.57 for owner Breda Kennedy (New Ross). The second semi saw the John Kavanaghtrained 'Lightning Liam' come out well from trap one to lead all the way and score by three and a half lengths from 'Forest Mick' in 31.30. The winning owner is John Flanagan (Castlebridge).

The tenth race was an A5, and there was a very clear winner here as 'Brooklawn Bullet' went to the front at the third bend to come home eight and a half lengths clear of 'Im Black Mac' in 30.32 for owners, the Bandsaw Three Syndicate (New Ross).

The eleventh race, an A5 600, went to 'Martins Rose', owned by Philomena Phelan (Kilkenny), by a length from 'Portadangan Hero' in 34.25. The track was rated .60 slow (525 yards), .70 slow (550 yards), and .80 slow (600 yards).

Racing had a 7 p.m. start on Thursday last, and the good card featured no less than four finals. The first of them was the Ballinaboola Gallop final, the third race, and there was a very close finish as 'Rockside Roger' led and held several challenges before holding the finish of 'Rathvilly Red' by a short head for owner Martin Monaghan in 30.59 (.60 slow).

The fourth race was the final of the Kiltrea Kennels Unraced Sweepstake worth €1,700, and again there was only a short head that decided it. 'Barnarock' had the early pace to lead, with hot favourite 'Proper Pink' in bother, leaving herself with plenty to do, but she got into overdrive up the straight and only failed by the minimum distance to catch 'Barna' in 30.37. The young owner here was Alan Neville who is a grandson of the Whitefort man, Michael O'Connor, so the dynasty continues.

The fifth race was the final of the Track Supporters' A4 Tridistance, also worth €1,700, and it looked like grandad Michael was going to score as 'Whitefort Kooda' led down to the third bend, but hot favourite 'Have To Win' was prowling and proved too strong for 'Whitefort' up the straight by three lengths in 32.84 (.70 slow, 575). The winning owner is Tony Duffy (Dublin16) and trainer is John A. Hand.

The sixth race was the last final of the year, the Track Supporters' A2 Tridistance with a €1,500 prize, and it was a good display by 'Metric Daisy' for owner Larry Byrne (Enniscorthy). Going on at the first bend, she was not going to be headed after that as she stayed on well to beat 'Lochdara Farloe' by three and a half lengths in 32.83 (.70 slow).

The night started with an A3, and 'China Doll' proved much too good for 'Grancore Eye', coming home four and a half lengths ahead in 30.53 for owners David Donegan and Paddy Rawson (Wicklow).

Another A3 followed, and 'Kingsmill Rise' led and ran out an easy winner, coming home four lengths clear in a good 29.75 (.60slow). The owners here are Aidan and John Roche (Barntown).

The seventh race was an A1 (575), and Maria Byrne's ' Dysert Davdor' was the easiest winner of the night, running out a big ten-length scorer in 32.67 (.70 slow). The eighth race was another A1, and old favourite 'Alnwick Oscar', owned by Patrick Sheil, scored for the 21st time when racing to a three and a half length win in 30.38.

The ninth race, an A2, was a close race and it was Res. X, 'Hart Shaped', owned by John McCarthy and Eamon Doyle, who finished well to get the verdict by three-quarters of a length from an unlucky 'Ballarue Crash' in 30.44.

The last race, an A3, could well be the last of the year with the freezing weather set to continue, and it went to 'Assain Blue', owned by the Put A Saddle On It Syndicate and trained by David Morris, who came from behind leader 'Brave Milly' to score by a length in 30.26.

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