Escapism takes brave route before powering to victory in Tralee

Escapism, trained by Owen McKenna for Eimear Coffey, Youghal, landed the GMHD Juvenile Classic with a powerful effort on Friday night in Tralee.

Escapism takes brave route before powering to victory in Tralee

The 3-1 second favourite broke well from the inside draw and used the line to turn second behind Turree Bolt, with even-money favourite Lenson Rocky in third place, having been short of room in the early yards.

The leader held a two-length advantage racing to halfway but Escapism, already having shown himself to be a very strong stayer over this trip, quickened to challenge racing to the third turn.

Taking the brave route along the inside, he squeezed past the leader on the turn and lengthened clear up the straight to earn the €15,000 winner’s prize with two and a half lengths to spare over long-time leader Turree Bolt, in 28.35, with Lenson Rocky four lengths further back.

There were four absentees from the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night, but it was Ballydoyle Honey who set the standard with her wide-margin victory in the first heat.

The Graham Holland-trained bitch was drawn in six, with an empty box on her inner, and she made light work of her task. The 2-5 favourite raced a length clear into the turn and held that advantage all the way down the back.

But, her stamina shone through from that point as she extended her level of superiority with every stride thereafter, striding away to beat Leave At Dawn by eight lengths, in 29.34, with Jaytee Valencia in third.

Ten spots behind on the clock was Jaytee Jet, who had only three rivals in the second heat. The Paul Hennessy-trained runner, sent off a 1-2 chance, led up but conceded the lead to Peregrine Falcon as they raced the opening bends.

Back in front on the approach to the third turn, he pulled away stylishly to beat the running-on Notorious Ben by four and a half lengths, in 29.44, with Peregrine Falcon half a length further back.

Slippery Fred made it three consecutive winning odds-on favourites when taking the third heat for Larry Dunne. Away well from trap five, he moved across to the rails early, and quickly opened up a clear lead.

Never in danger, he galloped home five lengths clear of Lenson Sanchez in 29.56.

Kennel companions Sidarian Vega and Skywalker Rory were sent off 5-4 joint favourites in the fourth quarter-final, and they duly filled the first two places.

The superior early dash of Sidarian Vega proved decisive as, despite missing the break quite significantly, he performed really well to dispute the lead with Only For Life as they raced the opening bends.

He moved clear to the third turn and, despite fading quite forgivably in the homestraight, held off Leger winner Skywalker Rory by a length, in 28.69, with Only For Life two lengths back.

Easter Cup semi-finals:

First semi-final:

1. Lenson Sanchez, 2. Leave At Dawn, 3. Faypoint Rush, 4. Skywalker Rory (m), 5. Notorious Ben (w), 6. Jaytee Jet (w).

Second semi-final:

1. Slippery Fred, 2. Peregrine Falcon, 3. Jaytee Valencia, 4. Sidarian Vega, 5. Ballydoyle Honey (w), 6. Only For Life (w).

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