Rastafari Chic off to a flyer in Oaks

RasReigning champion Rastafari Chic got the defence off her Pat Hennerty Sales Cork Oaks title off to an impressive winning start on Saturday night last when she took heat two in a smashing 28.36 (.10 fast) just two spots off the best of the round 28.34 set by Macroom Motors winner Lezzie Lindsay in the opening heat.
Rastafari Chic off to a flyer in Oaks

Rastafari was sent off an easy to back 9/4 chance and those who supported the Jackie Roche (Waterford) runner never had much to worry about as she came away in contention with Happy Endings and, with the advantage of the inside, she soon asserted when they hit the back straight.

Turning on the tap she eventually had six lengths to spare over Lurriga Gold who finished best of the rest to take second by a half a length from Happy Endings, who just held on to third by a short head from the money on favourite Dromscarra Ruby.

Leezie Lindsay trained by Francie Murray for Howard Wallace was a 5/2 chance in the opening heat and, getting the run of the race down the wide outside, she took over from Laravoulta Libby before the opening bend and made the rest to have three and a half lengths in hand over Libby at the line.

Skywalker Pearl was all the rage in heat 3 but once again disappointed after holding every chance at the last bend.

Sunshine Cathy put her early pace to best use to show the way into the opening bend from the favourite and this was the order to the last bend where Pearl had come to join Cathy on her outside but the pair failed to cope with the strong finish of the Niall Dunne, Cashel owned & trained Phone Lizzie who came between runners to win going away by a length from Pearl with Twilight Tear also finishing fast to take third just a half a length further away in 28.62.

The Liam Dowling owned & trained Ballymac Scala was a surprise 5/1 winner of heat four in 28.56.

Always in contention, she asserted at the third bend and then held the late run of Jaytee Grace by a length at the line with the 5/4 favourite Jeanettedollemma another length and a half away in third.

The night was a fund raiser in aid of Culan Wants To Walk and attracted a big crowd to the venue.

The feature was the Caulfields Superalu, Bandon A4 525 went to Malteser Man owned by the Back Of The Bus Syndicate, Carrigrohane who look to have another nice prospect on their hands.

Handled by Anthony Dwyer, he looked to have it all to do from his wide draw out in six but staying in his lane the inside seed led at the third bend from the fast starting Parkgate Suzie and then pulled four and a half clear to the line from Dower Beetlebug who took second by a length from Parkgate in 28.72.

Drive the Bend took the opener for Tim Looney, Gneeveguilla in 29.54. Hitting the front on the home straight he went on to win by a length from Caltra Sammy.

The Pat Kiely trained Glanmire Trooper proved much too good for his market rival Knockboy Cathy in the second, winning by four lengths in a fast 17.63. Away like a shot from his trap six draw the wide seed dominated throughout.

Cronody Romeo owned by Donal Murphy, Vicarstown showed an explosive turn of early pace (3.32 sec) which set him up for a four length victory in the third over Steragel Lee in a smashing career best 28.72.

The latter threw down a big challenge at the third bend where he was forced to check and the winner then pulled clear to the line.

Outonalimb trained by Denis Fitzgerald for Pat Ahern, Killeagh came late in the fourth to snatch victory from the long-time leader Cheer Up Charlie by a half a length in 28.91.

The latter looked all over the winner when he went three clear along the back straight but faded in the closing stages allowing the winner in for his seventh career victory.

Loraine Moore’s, Riverstick, early-pacer Zoro Supreme took the tenth race. Away like a flash, he made the opening bend in front but was immediately put under pressure by Glanmire Prince. However the 3/1 chance held firm to the line where he had just a short head to spare in 30.16.

In the finale Harlem Princess was attempting to make it five from five and did so with the utmost of ease in a career best 28.50.

A July 14 whelp, she came away running from her trap five draw to hold a clear advantage into the opening bend over a much more experienced field and then proceeded to coast home where she had five and a half lengths in hand over the favourite Star Ace.

Owned & trained by that shrewd Ballincollig man Tommy Delaney she looks a real prospect for the future.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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