Cronin stars dominate with spellbinding runs
Trainer Peter Cronin took the Comerford Cakes Open by storm at Shelbourne Park on Saturday when his two heat winners were also the fastest of the round.
When the Cronin-trained Whoops Jack clocked 28.34 in Heat 5 for owners Larry and Jack O'Shea, he seemed destined to be fastest of the round. He had shown real class as he flew up to lead on the bend and won by three-and-a-half lengths from Malico Champ.
Two races later, another Cronin star Swithins Brae came out and posted a time of 28.32 when winning the concluding heat by five lengths from Tyrur Hugo. His victory came as no surprise as he was a well-fancied second favourite for the final of the St Leger at Limerick less than a month ago.
But this competition is full of potential stars and one of them, Droopys Wilbury, ran below form behind Whoops Jack and only got up in the final strides to qualify in fourth place. But rule him out as a potential stake winner at your peril as he is a hugely talented tracker and can perform much better.
Best in the early heats was the Graham Holland-trained Drive On Tipp which impressed when landing Heat 2. His early pace proved decisive as he came home a length and a half in front of Droopys Almond in 28.46.
Pat Buckley was also among the winners as Graces Blueboy flew out of traps in Heat 7 and won by three lengths from Hot Trend in 28.49. JJ Fennelly and Sheila Spillane are making a habit of winning Saturday races at Shelbourne and their Burgess Dubh stuck to his task gamely in Heat 5 when coming from behind to beat Cant Catch Mayo by a length in 28.52.
Good News showed that he has recovered from his heavy Limerick fall when leading all the way to win the opening heat by two lengths and the same from Killinan Rosie and Impressive Guy in 28.67.
Other heats saw Paul Kiely's Treblesforshow snatch victory over Ballymac Tomasso and Deanridge Milano in 28.62, while Paul Hennessy's Michelito led all the way when winning Heat 4 in 28.89.