Cashen Mafuma justified favouritism in Saturday night’s final of the Macroom Motor Services Stake at Curraheen Park.
Chris Houlihan and Padraig Rowan’s dog missed a beat at the break but he showed fine pace to race on to the tails of the leaders at the first turn.
Faced with a wall of dogs, he had to bide his time until space appeared. Tracking smartly to move second turning into the back, he saw a gap along the rails racing past halfway and was quick to fill it. Squeezing past early leader Splendid Joy racing into the third bend, he ran on really strongly to see off the early leader by a length and a half in 28.57.
By Cashen Legend out classy stayer Shakira Live, he looks a likely candidate to return to this track later in the year in an attempt to emulate his sire, who had his finest hour when winning the 2008 Irish Laurels.
The first-round heats of the Barry’s Tea Open 750 also took place on the night and the bookmakers emerged the winners over the punters as all four favourites were turned over.
Dream Winner, who is bred to be a champion over this an extended trip, came from well off the pace to take the first heat. Pat Dalton’s daughter of Droopys Scolari and Flying Winner raced fifth early and she was just beginning to find her stride when the leaders tangled. On what was just her fourth outing and her first victory, she led into the fifth bend before stretching three clear of the game Woe Girl in 42.07.
Shine And Hope posted a very determined effort in the second heat. An experienced sort over the trip, he led from the opening turn but looked in trouble when joined by market leader Express Hero and Mountaylor Ace racing down to the fifth bend. Room was at a premium at this point, with the last-named particularly badly impeded, but Shine And Hope ran on gamely to deny Express Hero by a neck in 42.24.
Bridie Moore’s Stallone Bart was a smooth winner of the third heat. Second early, he poked his nose in front on passing the line for the first time and galloped on in good style to post a 42.36 winning effort.
In the last of the four heats Padraig O’Connor’s Dogwithacollar reversed recent Shelbourne Park form with favourite Incitatus. Toberadora Holly set the pace but Dogwithacollar turned close and his stamina was destined to play a big part. He moved to the front between the last two bends and ran on strongly to deny the luckless Incitatus by a couple of lengths in 41.93.
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