THE countdown to Powerstown is well underway at present and patrons who attended three fantastic days of action at Newcastlewest will have noted the impressive displays of both Trial Stake winners at the Limerick venue last weekend.
The well supported Camirillo Blonde (Bexhill Eoin/Chubbys Princess) rewarded her supporters when collecting in the Oaks Trial Stake. Backed from 4/1 to 2/1 favourite ante post, she set the fastest clock of the day in a 5 length win over Seroki.
Her odds dwindled to 4/5 following her opening display and she cruised through to day two with a four length win over Woodfield lark. She took some hefty falls following the opening turn, but she showed no signs of this as she booked her place in the semis with a two-length win over Escape Value.
While she was sluggish away in all her courses she showed tremendous foot from halfway and she displayed blinding pace when coming from behind to book her place in the decider with two lengths to spare over Aristo Dawn.
She faced the highly rated Timely Legacy in the final buckle and gave her rival a clear length of daylight in the opening exchanges. However as the passed the stand the winner was back on level terms and smoothly wore down her rival to take the opening turn with a length in hand.
The winner is as short as 10/1 with Betbrowne.com and has been the most impressive bitch this scribe has seen this season to date.
Trained by Denis O'Driscoll who knows more than most about Powerstown success she looks tailored made for the challenge and looks hard to oppose. The winner is owned by the Redondo syndicate.
The Derby Trial Stake produced an equally impressive winner who like the oaks winner was well supported in the market from the off. Windsor Forest (JaneyMacaroo/ Call Up) from the kennels of Pa Fitzgearld showed enough over the 3 days to emerge as a real Derby contender.
He was put to the pin of his collar by Razor City in the quarter-final, however he rose to the challenge and dug deep to progress by a length.
Priced at 4/5 as four remained, he again went to the well to shake of the challenge of the sticky Jacksons Lane in a buckle that went right down to the wire. He went to slips with the well bred Skellig Eoin in the final, However there was to be no holing the Patsy Byrnes owned runner as he set a blistering clock enroute to a 3 ½ length success.
Windsor Forest is quoted at 14/1 for the classic and on this display he will prove to be a formidable force on the Clonmel Stretch.
There were two surprise winners of the All Age events with Coolavanny Call (Bexhill Eoin/Call Up) laying claim to the spoils in the Munster Cup. A half brother of the Trial Stake winner, the John Lenihan owned runner was quickly away from slips in the final against Cherrygrove Bolt, and this proved decisive as the winner held and turn his game a length ahead of his rival.
Oaks runner-up, Emma's Goldrush, was all the rage in the final of the All Age Bitch event however she was turned over by Plough and Stars (Eoin Rua/Highland Moon) to save some creditability for Bookmakers present. The 2/1 outsider in the course, Plough and Stars held the advantage from the off and was never challenged en route to a one length success.
Finally, the John Kelly Cup went the way of Ballyregan Brett (Burnpark Champ/Lethal Claudia) who had a deserving three-length win over Killeline Oxo in the final course. The winner is owned by Mags Kennedy, Newcastlewest.
Next weekend's action switches to Dungarvan and Castletowngeoghan.