Ashfield Impact on brink of major final
THE RED Mills Irish Laurels have reached the semi-final stage this Saturday night, and Wexford owner Kitty Goldsmith and handler Vincent Morris (Kilrane) are on the brink of a classic final as 'Ashfield Impact' put in another powerful run in last week's first quarter-final.
Breaking well, he had to show his excellent early pace to get up inside favourite 'Confident Rankin' at the first bend to go on to lead down the back. However, 'Ashfield' just came off the last bend a bit and 'Confident' rallied up the rail, but 'Ashfield' dug deep to hold the favourite and score in a fine 28.37. This son of 'Ballymac MaeveMinglers Impact' has really taken to the Cork track.
The semi-final draw has been kind and unkind to him but his biggest problem is the trap five draw as he has early pacers 'Razldazl Rioga', 'Knockglass Billy' and 'Camas Crash' inside him, but he missed the hot favourite 'Ballymac Vic' who is in the other semi. A fast break will be vital and if getting it he will make a bold show to reach the final.
The Ferns kennel of Brendan Murphy and Carol O'Connor did it again last week at Newbridge. This time it was 'Rockmount Eagle' ('Westmead Hawk-Rockmount Fo Jo') scoring his twelfth victory in the A1 550.
'Eagle' was led to the first bend but got into a nice posse down the back before taking it up off the last bend to stay on well and hold all challengers in a time of 30.31.
There was only one Wexford winner at Waterford track on Saturday night and that was the well-backed 'Telex Boss' ('Royal Impact-Dubi Regent') in race six, showing his usual good early form to lead and running on well to hold 'Crucial Diaby' by half a length in a time of 28.93.
Owner Leanne Butler has enjoyed plenty of good wins from this consistent dog which is handled by Anton Butler.
Friday night was a little more productive for Co. Wexford owners when the Michael Henderson-owned 'Crucial Neymar' ('Ace Hi RumbleSamuels Buttons') put in the fastest run of the night, a good 28.79. 'Crucial' showed nice early form to lead and simply was far too good for rivals to score a clear win.
Trainer Nick Turner was also on the mark when 'Pocketful of dreams' came from well off the pace to get up and score in 28.58 and may well move up in trip in the near future. 'Pocket' is by 'Westmead Hawk-Aclamon Rosie' and is owned by Tanya Gardiner.
The Red Mills A3.com trophy stake got under way on Thursday night last at Enniscorthy with all eights heats run, and fastest of the night was the Seán Furlong (Ashfield Drive, Wexford)-owned 'Ashfield Chili' who was an impressive winner of heat one by five lengths in a fast 29.16.
This was his second win from four outings and he is on the up. 'Ashfield' is by 'Bit Chili' out of 'Flying Fancy' and his good early form could well see him make a bold bid for outright honours.
The Topaz Open Unraced final was decided at Shelbourne on Saturday night and the William Byrne-owned 'Crucial Kaka' made a valiant effort to lead all the way only to be caught near the line, being only beaten three-quarters and half a length in 28.82. This was a very creditable effort and more wins are on the card for this fellow.