Locnamon Bridie, trained by Paul Hennessy for Bill Chawke, came out on top in a thrilling finish to the final of the Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
The bitch was ideally drawn along the rails and she got herself into contention early with a smart break which saw her turn a close second behind Rockburst Delta. By this stage, however, easy-to-back favourite Borna Gem, drawn wider than ideal out in trap five, had already been buffeted a number of times and was out of contention.
Rockburst Delta raced a couple clear down the back but the strong-staying Locnamon Bridie closed up as they hit the third bend. There was no room for the challenger as she tried to slip through along the inside, but she switched outside off the last bend and her determined effort earned a neck victory over the long-time leader in 28.58.
Kereight King confirmed himself a dog of real potential with a terrific effort in the final of the Track Bookmakers Open 525. Aidan Denton’s lightly raced tracker is an out-and-out railer and, though only drawn in three, he made early advances towards the fence. He was met with resistance as he tried to do so, but he was determined to get there and succeeded as he exited the second bend.
By this stage Piercestown Buzz had slipped clear around the outside and held an advantage of a couple of lengths as he stretched to halfway. But what happened next left a deep impression. Kereight King picked up in superb fashion, zipping past the leader racing down to the third bend. Railing tightly all the way, he kicked three lengths clear in 28.61. He’s one to keep in the notebook for 2013.
The only race of the night which wasn’t a final was the red-hot sprint which opened the card, and victory went, in the most emphatic fashion, to Bulmers Baby. The bitch had been struggling to find her trapping boots but the change of seeding appeared to do the trick.
Racing from trap three, she blew the lids and was clear in a matter of strides. Once there, she assumed her customary middle-to-wide line. Leeview Dave didn’t break well but showed huge pace to go in chase. He looked a real danger as they turned for home, but the bitch stays very well and she raced away to score by three and a half lengths, in 18.60. Her victory proved to be the first of three for her trainer, Ginger McGee, who completed his hat-trick with Swanley Champ and Gizmo Classic.
Swanley Champ, contesting the Track Bookmakers A1 575, was crowded at the first bend but he recovered quickly. A smart turn of pace carried him to the front at the third bend and he pulled clear to justify favouritism in 28.87.
Gizmo Classic wasn’t ideally drawn in the final of the Track Bookmakers Open 575 but he battled bravely to bring his record to two from two over this trip and complete the McGee treble in the process.
He slipped around inside early leader Oran Classic before putting his seal on the race. He’s clearly ideally suited to this distance and he pulled away in really smart style to score by five lengths from Lodgefield Start, in 31.27.
The other 575 on the card was the Track Bookmakers Getting Out final and the well-drawn Slip The Genie landed the spoils. Riverside Mary led to the turn, but the eventual winner raced to the front between the bends and opened up an advantage as she raced down the back.
John McLaughlin’s bitch maintained a wide course all the way but she stays the trip very well and pulled away up the straight to score by five lengths, in 31.28.
Another name to be taken from Saturday night’s card was that of Combo Mike, who brought his record to three wins from three outings when taking the final of the Track Bookmakers A2 525. The January 2011 pup, by Hades Rocket out of a full sister to 2007 Irish Derby winner Tyrur Rhino, made all to win impressively in 28.66.
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