It was as easy as 1-1-1 for trainer Graham Holland as he sent out three of Saturday night’s four quarter-final heat winners in the Gain Feeds Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne Park, all three racing from the inside trap.
The first leg of the treble came in the second heat, where Rockburst Pearl made light of the task of justifying 4-7 favouritism.
The prolific bitch popped out in front to take up her customary pacemaking role. On a track which was rated .30 fast but arguably wasn’t as quick as we’ve become accustomed to, she stayed on well to beat Southern Oaks winner Gurrane Princess by a couple of lengths in 28.71.
The second leg came courtesy of Sidarian Lisa, who took the four-runner third heat. Razldazl Amy was first to show but the even-money favourite was quickly in her slipstream and always looked to be travelling like the winner.
The leader maintained her advantage to the third bend but Sidarian Lisa quickened between the bends and was in front on turning for home. A strong stayer at this trip, she moved two and a half lengths clear of the long-time leader in 28.77.
The treble was completed by Rockburst Pearl’s half-sister, Rockburst Beryl. She was sent off a 5-4 joint favourite with Munster Oaks winner Maddies Dream and, while the latter found trouble at the first bend, the Holland runner produced a fine break to lead to the turn.
Cleveland Lass and Highview Dasher both threatened to make a race of but the leader was not for catching and she stayed on very well to hit the line five and a half lengths clear of Ballycowen Hero in 28.71.
Jacks Top Gal was the subject of a morning gamble (available at 9-1) and she made every yard of the running to take the first heat. The 4-1 chance was quick to take charge and she opened up a clear advantage racing down the back.
Trained by Darragh Morrissey for Larry and Jack O’Shea, the bitch isn’t the strongest of stayers and she gave supporters anxious moments as her stamina came into question.
Lolos Ferrari ran on strongly but the line came just on time for the leader, who held on by a neck in 28.83.
Airlie Dazzler, who won the Night of Stars 750, showed his class and versatility when dropped to 575 for the finale. Trained by Larry Mason, the 2-1 chance broke very well from the outside and as veteran Abbeyville Tipp, drawn five, moved towards the rails, he readily asserted.
Shopping Basket stayed on to take second spot, five lengths behind the 31.46 winner.
Youngster Deanridge Pennys, trained by Rosemary Price, left behind the disappointment of his exit from the National Puppy Stake at the semi-final stage by taking the seventh race in great style.
A decent break had him in the firing line from the outset and he quickened to take command down the back. There was no danger thereafter as he pulled away in super style to win by five lengths from Church Avenue in a best-of-the-night 28.47.
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