Jaytee Hellcat put his name in the mix for outright honours in the Kerry AgriBusiness St Leger when proving far too strong for his rivals in Saturday’s second quarter-final at Limerick.
The powerful runner, from the kennels of Paul Hennessy, broke well and turned second behind Farloe Trent. He had a couple of lengths to make up in the backstraight but he showed a devastating turn of pace to lead at the third turn.
Maintaining a relentless gallop, he went further clear with every stride to put six lengths between himself and the early leader in a best-of-the-competition 29.31, with the his kennel companion, Hot Pursuit, three lengths further back in third place.
Hennessy completed a double in the heats when Irish Oaks winner Locnamon Bridie returned to form with a smooth victory in the last of the heats. The bitch led around, with Stone Boy King in tow and she looked in control throughout as she ran on strongly to beat that rival by five lengths in 29.48, with Cashen Cocoa in third.
There was a great finish to the first heat, in which the Peter Cronin-trained Rockview Turbo put up a gutsy display to fend off the challenge of Tyrur Sugar Ray. The winner had the early pace to lead around in front of the 4-5 favourite and he held his advantage all the way down the back.
When he swung very wide into the homestraight he almost gave away his chance but the 2-1 shot found enough reserves to win by the minimum margin in 29.58, with Hawaii Kinsale running on to take third place.
And that just leaves Roxholme Bully, who cemented his place at the top of the market with a faultless display in the third heat. The Owen McKenna-trained runner showed fine early pace to overcome the potential drawback of trap four.
Thereafter, it was a formality for the 6-4 favourite as he strode clear for a five-length victory over the running-on Skywalker Farloe in 29.41, with General Wolf in third.
Graham Holland, who has two runners in the semi-finals of the Leger, was in tremendous form with his Dublin raiders, recording a brilliant five-timer.
The ball was set in motion by Garryvoe Jet, who ran away with the opener. Owned by Pat Moloney of Castlemartyr, the strong-staying sort broke well and turned in a close second.
Despite swinging wide between the turns, he showed an impressive turn of pace into the backstraight. He left the opposition for dead as he raced home a long way clear in 31.31 for 575 yards.
The second leg of the five-timer came in the fifth race, where the habitually fast-finishing Sidarian Lisa got up late to beat Abbey Carla by two lengths in 30.09.
Holland’s third winner on the card came in the following race when Holborn Catchme led out of the second bend and moved clear in grand style to score readily in 28.75.
January pup Turning Tables, sent off an odds-on favourite, provided leg four when making all and doing enough to deny the effort of market rival Metro Jack by three parts of a length in 28.36.
Mustang Messi wrapped up the 692-1 five-timer when leading at the turn en route to a length victory over Farloe Quest in 28.64.
The final of the Caledonia Smooth Gold Cup was the feature on Saturday night at Drumbo Park and trainer Ginger McGee added to his spoils in what has been a very successful year as Work Me Lord ran out a clear-cut winner.
Owned by Tony Howard, he broke quite well from trap three and was on hand to take advantage when the fast-starting favourite, Atitboy, and China Special bumped a number of times on the entrance to the first bend.
Canvas Drogba showed a lot of backstraight pace but Work Me Lord was never in danger and he ran on well to win by four lengths from the game Atitiboy, who battled back into second place in the closing stages. The winner, who is a member of the very smart Brett Lee-Tas litter bred by Eva Abedi, earned £5,000 for his 28.73 seconds of exertions.
Trainer Peter Cronin dominated the first semi-final of the Gain Select Stakes when his All About Ya beat kennel companion Holycross Gerry in a very smart 28.46.
All About Ya took over from Laurels winner Lassa Expedition at the first bend and quickened clear down the back. He never saw another rival as he strode home a couple clear of his running-on kennelmate in 28.46, with Puppy Derby winner Vanrooney in third.
Vanrooney’s trainer, Owen McKenna, had better luck in the second semi-final as Juvenile Classic winner Farloe Calvin overcame his trap five draw to win comfortably.
He had enough in hand to get across Killinan Baby and Derby finalist Carrowgarriff at the first bend and then raced home two and a half clear of Burgess Rumble in 28.56, with Norristown Bud in third.
Leger, first semi-final: 1. Hawaii Kinsale, 2. Tyrur Sugar Ray, 3. Roxholme Bully, 4. Locnamon Bridie, 5. Hot Pursuit, 6. Skywalker Farloe (w).
Second semi-final: 1. General Wolf, 2. Cashen Cocoa, 3. Stone Boy King, 4. Jaytee Hellcat (m), 5. Rockview Turbo (m), 6. Farloe Trent (w).
Select Stakes final: 1. Farloe Calvin, 2. Burgess Rumble, 3. Norristown Bud, 4. All About Ya, 5. Vanrooney, 6. Holycross Gerry.
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