Alder's prize as trap failure foils Oaks final
The new season at Shelbourne Park will open on a surprising high following the voiding on Saturday night of the Gain Christmas Oaks final due to a mechanical failure and the race will now be run on the next meeting at headquarters on Saturday, January 2.
The traps failed to open properly for the €7,000 final with two of the runners managing to squeeze out through the half-open traps. Racing manager Declan Carey explained that "it was a mechanical failure".
"A ram in the trap broke and this prevented the trap from opening properly," he said. "Thankfully, none of the bitches were injured and the final will be run on Saturday week. We hope to have a trial session for the six bitches."
The problem was quickly resolved and the remaining races went off without incident. One of these was the final of the Comerford Cakes Open 525 where the winner was the 8/1 outsider of the field Black Alder which represents the sponsoring Comerford family.
This home-bred son of Zero Ten and Allen Harbour had to run the race of his life to claim victory. A noted early pacer owned and trained by Peter Comerford and Tony Moore, he broke fast and led up from Creamery Bale and Anopheles on the inside while joint favourite Proud Graham displayed big pace to be second on the bend.
At this stage the complexion of the race changed as Anopheles was pushed wide on the corner and he crashed into Proud Graham, while Toolmaker Scot was also badly baulked. Suddenly the moderate starting joint favourite Farloe Joey shot through into third place, tracking Black Alder and Creamery Bale into the back.
Farloe moved second before the third bend and looked a winner but Black Alder dug really deep and gamely resisted his challenge by half a length in a flying 28.22 while it was all of seven lengths to Creamery Bale.
There were some top-class performances on the supporting card with Graham Holland's Skywalker Pearl winning the Consolation Oaks in 28.29 while Jim Brosnan's True Wisdom was an easy winner in 28.37.