BOTH semi finals of the Droopys Stud Munster Oaks at Waterford on Saturday had similar outcomes with the early pace-setter caught in the dying strides.
First up was the battle between Calling Spice and Clearview Kelly. The former overcame a tardy start to dispute the lead around the opening two bends with Borna Talent before asserting down the back straight.
Ultimately Clearview Kelly was too close in third however and she powered home to grab the lead under the shadow of the post for a three parts of a length victory over Calling Spice in 28.51. Borna Talent was just a head away in third.
The second semi final was an even tighter affair with Cartiers Dazzle and Back To Shannon providing a thriller. The pair disputed the early lead, but Cartiers Dazzle took over down the back straight.
She could never shake off her rival however, which cost her dearly. Railing tightly around the final turn, Back To Shannon took over from Cartiers Dazzle before repelling her renewed challenge by a head in a fast 28.32 with Ballymac Linda less than a length back in third.
The draw for the final is: 1 Cartiers Dazzle; 2 Calling Spice; 3 Clearview Kelly; 4 Ballymac Linda; 5 Back To Shannon ; 6 Borna Talent (w).
James Gibney’s sprinter of the year Inny Blue is still on course for the Agri Store Fair Warrior Sprint at Mullingar after a strong performance in Saturday’s quarter finals.
The John McGee trained son of Honcho Classic and Sydney Swan broke well from six and held the strong run of Bunlahy Brett by half a length in 21.45.
The time was equalled by Brendan Duffy’s Cavies Tucks in Heat 3 where he had a length and three parts in hand of Lodgefield Pride. The other heat winners were Anthony O’Grady’s Go Butler in 21.73 and Denis Hannon’s Springwell Dill in 21.81.
On Friday night the stars of the future again displayed their qualities in the second round of the Track Bookmakers Puppy Derby and for the second week running Texacloth winner Lolos Joe produced a stunning display to set the standard
After a fast start from the inside trap, he hit the front before the turn and raced away to have six lengths in hand on Cinelarty Mac in 28.67.
Texacloth runner-up Kerrydale Lar also produced an almost identical display to his opening round effort when scoring in the final heat. He took control at the second turn and then went on to beat Air Force Hawk by two and a half lengths in 28.85.
Mountjoy Rock also followed up an impressive opening round victory when dominating in Heat 2. He flew from traps and led all to strike by five lengths in 28.71.
The most exciting finish of the evening came in Heat 6 where Dream Walker was denied in the final stride by the Fraser Black trained Westmead Maldini, the verdict being a head in 28.84.
Pat O’Connor’s Saleen Return returned to his best in Heat 7 where he made every yard to record a four and a half length victory over Monleek Merc in 28.93.
A pile up at the turn in the opening heat allowed Melodys Royal to recover from a slow start. The warm favourite swooped to the front at the second bend before drawing right away to see off Hovex Phil by an ever increasing eight and a half lengths in 29.18.
A fast start proved the key to success for Bling Bling Dano in Heat 4. Leading early he repelled the challenge of Slick Legend down the back straight, before containing the late challenge of Asisola by a length in 29.20.
Air Force Ellie was a hot favourite for Heat 3, but she was badly baulked at the turn and lost all chance of winning. In contrast Lady Dunbar led early before being collared late by Me Rambo, who took the verdict by a length from Maggies Whistle in 29.22.
Puppy Derby quarter-finals draw
Heat 1: 1 Maggies Whistle; 2 Bling Bling Dano; 3 Me Rambo; 4 Lolos Joe; 5 Westmead Maldini; 6 Kerrydale Lar (m).
Heat 2: 1 Springwood Hope; 2 Fast Fit Tiger; 3 Air Force Hawk; 4 Monleek Merc; 5 Everglade; 6 Rustys Coyote (m).
Heat 3: 1 Mays Westmead; 2 Kielduff Merc; 3 Lady Dunbar; 4 Asisola; 5 Cinealarty Mac (m); 6 Melodys Royal (w)
Heat 4: 1 Hovex Phil; 2 Oakfront Aga; 3 Dream Walker; 4 Mountjoy Rock; 5 Jonnyfortycoats; 6 Saleen Return (m)
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