Belle overcomes tough draw in Christmas Oaks

Cromac Belle overcame a tough-looking draw to win the €7,000-to-the-winner Gain Dog Foods Christmas Oaks on Saturday night at Shelbourne Park. The bitch was most impressive from the inside box in the semi-finals, and a switch to the outside made little difference as she produced a similarly emphatic performance for Jim O’Kane, Belfast.

Belle overcomes tough draw in Christmas Oaks

The 7-2 chance posted a 2.00 sectional to lead up and, with room at a premium along the inner, she led around from Lislevane Swift, who had to ride a hefty bump to turn second. The latter tried hard to bridge the gap and, although she certainly made inroads, the strong-running leader stayed on well to deny her by a length, in 28.65, with Springwell Watsy back in third.

Last year’s Christmas Oaks winner, Jacks Top Gal, was also on the mark, winning the Gain Brown Bread Nuggets A1 525 for Darragh Morrissey. There was early trouble as De Real Mccoy moved inwards in the early yards, and the bitch took full advantage to lead into the turn. She was some four clear down the back and held that rival by two and a half lengths, in 28.73.

Bar One Irish Sprint Cup finalist Crown Champ confirmed himself back to top form when taking the sprint for Aidan McVeigh and owner Sean Conlon. The even-money favourite flashed from traps and was comfortably clear to the turn. There was no threat to his superiority as he galloped away to a four-and-a-half-length victory, over Millridge Lord, in a very sharp 18.55.

Graham Holland made several visits to the winner’s enclosure once more, and chief amongst his performers was recent Kingdom Derby winner Clares Wonder, who posted the fastest time of the night in the finale.

There was a substantial gamble on Honour And Glory but he could never get to the front, whereas the winner turned close behind Canal View Jenny and always looked likely to succeed. Having shown terrific speed from halfway when winning the Tralee feature a week earlier, it was no surprise to see the 6-4 chance hit the front in the backstraight and then pull two and a half lengths clear of the early leader, in 28.39.

March pup Hot Streak, a runaway winner on debut a week ago, duly stepped up on that performance to take the A5 525 final for Ollie Bray. From the first litter of classy lady Minefield, the odds-on favourite popped out and made all for a wide-margin victory over Katies Decision, in 28.76.

More in this section

Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


Sat, Sept 25

Eire Og

PSFC Round 2


Sun, Sept 26

Clyda Rovers

SAFC Round 2


Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up