PARENTS and pupils turned out in strength to support a fund-raiser for the local Holy Family School at Tralee Track last Saturday night and the featured buster race was won in pretty impressive fashion by Oak Chard (Burnpark Champ - Baltovin Maggie), owned by Peter Regan, of Baltovin, Ardfert.
There was a high defection rate of three in the race and the absence of Broadway Wonder allowed Oak Chard to run from trap 1. He certainly made the most of the opportunity, showing terrific early pace after an average break to lead off the first bend and nothing stood a chance of catching him after that. He finished four lengths ahead of another reserve, Moybella Dreamer, in a fastest of the night 28.72 (.20 fast).
The live racing had serious competition on television from meetings at Shelbourne Park, Limerick and Wimbledon and, at Shelbourne Park, there was a marvellous Kerry victory at the quarter-final stage of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks. It was achieved by Melodys Diamond, jointly owned by Paddy Collins, of Ballylongford, and London-based Duagh man, Patsy Byrne, and trained by Declan Byrne.
Melodys Diamond produced what was surely the best run of her career to beat the Owen McKenna-trained Airforce Diva by five and-a-half lengths in the quite wonderful time of 28.15 and she must have every chance of going on to outright victory in the event.
The joint owners are two tremendous supporters of the doggy game, track and field, and there will certainly be a lot of people who will be rooting for Melodys Diamond at the semi-final stage this Saturday night. Hopefully, she will at least qualify for the final a week later.
Other winners at Tralee last Saturday night: Trebel Tanvir, 29.47; Laune Ranger, 18.04; Trip To Tour, 29.28; Sky Ruby, 18.13; Weighbridge Faro, 29.51; Southern Sign, 18.16; Dungara Boy, 29.51; Manhattan Rebel, 29.57; Big Fair, 29.07.