There were two top-drawer performances on the first meeting of the year at Curraheen Park, on Saturday night, and both came from experienced bitches.
Adrigole Trudie was marginally the quicker of the two, when taking the closing race for Tadgh O’Sullivan. An impressive winner in A2 company when last seen, a month ago, she was upped to open class this time and proved more than equal to the task.
The September ’11 bitch had the legs of some smart early pacers on the run-up and, with winning form over further, pulled away to beat Gringos Ace by three and a half lengths, in a flying 28.29.
Only five spots slower was Laravoulta Libby, who took the A2 525 for Keelin Crowley.
Without a win in more than a year, but with a number of near-misses in between, she gained this deserved return to the winner’s enclosure with a runaway success.
With a fast start and an impressive display of back-straight pace, the March ’13 whelp was some seven lengths clear racing to the third turn, and maintained that advantage to record a career-best 28.34.
Snowy Free’s stamina came to the fore in the opening race, Eamonn and Miss Rachel Morton’s July bitch pup asserting late to secure her maiden victory, in 29.42.
The Pat Hogan-trained Ardera Ryan had shown early pace on debut over four bends, and made a successful drop to the sprint trip for race two.
Leading along the inside on the crown of the bends, he pulled clear to score impressively in 18.01.
The Kieran Lynch-trained Cotton Rambler made every yard of the running to take race three. A June pup, the 5-2 chance was a couple clear to the turn, and remained in control for a 29.22 victory.
Race four was the second sprint of the night, and Dromscarra Flash dominated from start to finish. Noreen Clifford’s dog took a length out of Ashgrove Fort before the turn, and pulled away to win comfortably in 17.97.
Clogheen Midge and Bright Audra had a great buckle in race five, but it was the former, trained by Garrett Drumm, who prevailed, edging ahead to score by half a length, in 29.34.
Chinook Turbo secured a third career victory when taking race six, over 550 yards.
Joe and Frank Long’s bitch was fourth early but tracked well to lead leaving the second bend. From there she galloped on strongly to beat Sportsmans Zip by two and a half lengths, in 30.41.
Pardon My Dust, owned by Sarah Walsh, came home virtually alone in race seven, over 330 yards. Having his first run since August and first tray at the trip, he was showing pace to challenge at the first bend, where his five rivals tangled badly. Left clear, he scored by a distance, in 18.05.
Race eight went to the Con O’Sullivan-trained Gowlane Georgie. Satin Eagle made much of the running, but the winner railed tightly throughout, took over racing the final bend, and pulled a length and a half clear, in 29.46.
Barkley gained an overdue return to winning ways when leading all the way in race nine, over 550 yards. Trained by Pat Quirke for Patrick O’Brien and William Lombard, he proved a length and a half too good for the persistent Razldazl Rocket, in 30.09.
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