Buckley and Holland snatch Gold Cup doubles
Most of the superlatives have been used to describe the fantastic action in the Best Car Parks Gold Cup at Shelbourne and we are only at the halfway stage of the €20,000 to the winner feature. Not even the bitterly cold weather conditions could dampen the enthusiasm of the very large crowd on Saturday as they witnessed four tremendous second-round heats.
The honours were evenly divided between trainers Pat Buckley and Graham Holland with two winners apiece in the heats, and they can look forward with tremendous anticipation to the action in the next two weekends.
The shining star of the occasion was the Holland-trained Sidarian Vega as he blitzed the opposition in the final heat. Only recently returned from a lengthy lay-off, Sidarian Vega turned his contest into a solo spectacular as he opened a six-length advantage by the second bend and doubled that margin to win by a dozen lengths in a scorching 28.11. Painstown Chief came from the next parish to claim second by half-a-length in the final strides.
In the previous heat Holland had also been on the mark as Proud Graham stormed clear from traps and was always in complete control. He won by three lengths from the big finishing Fair Taxes in 28.41, with Tarsna Havana a length third.
The first two heats saw Buckley gain his brace of successes. In the first qualifier Lenson Sanchez once again displayed his strength as he came from third place in the back straight to snatch a short head verdict over Slippery Fred in 28.43 with Jaytee Dutch making up a lot of ground to grab third spot. Hee Haws Sheriff was a clear leader for much of the journey but tied up on the run-in and missed out on qualifying.
Buckley and owner Len Ponder had few worries at any stage in Heat 2 where Lenson Panda flashed out of trap six and was always in complete control. He won by all of four-and-a-half lengths from Skywalker Pearl in 28.40 with Slippery Snowy a length third.
By the way there will be a Pick 4 Guarantee of €3,500 at Thursday's meeting.
The hot favourite Orlando Dazl duly won the final of the Vetsearch Recharge 525 at Limerick on Saturday when running out a seven-length winner in 28.48. Owned by Breda Hayes, Dazl dominated from trap rise and she won from Corrough Luckey.
Paul Hennessy's Jaytee Valencia maintained his unbeaten path through the Gain Cup at Curraheen Park when winning his semi-final from Lurriga Gold in 28.45.
The other semi saw Denis Fitzgerald's Oaklands Buddy win by a neck from Test Me in 28.78.