The people of Tarbert turned out in big numbers at Tralee Track last Saturday night to support a fundraiser for the local community centre. It was clear that a lot of work had been put in at the organisational end and this, hopefully, transferred itself into a healthy profit.
The feature event was the final of an A3 525 buster sweepstake and the winner's purse of €850 went over the Cork border to Millstreet, due to the victory of Millridge Leader (Mountleader Matt - Sarges Beauty), whose owner, Donal G O'Mahony, had a second finalist in Millridge Holly.
Both O'Mahony runners were 3/1 shots and, while Millridge Holly was never there with any chance of winning, Millridge Leader overcame a very sluggish start from trap 6 in quite magnificent fashion.
He kept a nice line on the outside rounding the first bend and was in fourth place straightening out on the back straight, behind Ballinorig Gold, Lassinagh Crest and Frankies Blueboy. By the third bend, he had moved into second place, but he still had three lengths to make up on 9/4 favourite, Ballinorig Gold, which certainly looked the more likely winner at this stage.
However, Millridge Leader produced a rousing burst of finishing speed to collar Ballinorig Gold close home and beat him by a length in 29.05 (.20 fast), with a short head back to Lassinagh Crest.
Three semi-finals of another buster sweepstake, this one for A2 class over 550yds and acting as a fund-raiser for Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club, were also run off on the night and there is little doubt that the locally-owned Poker Face will be favourite in the final this Saturday night after a quite brilliant trap-to-line victory in 30.16, which puts him nicely ahead of the two other semi-final winners, Brush Dancer and Honda Harry, which clocked 30.35 and 30.43, respectively.
Racing last Saturday night opened with a very impressive run of 28.76 by the Ardfert-owned Kilcurra Jacob in only his second race, while the other winners were Blowinn Ruby (18.28), Ballybane Niamh (29.34), Headleys Bruce, 17.89; Lisahane Premier, 30.15; Tyford Pearl, 29.33.