Duke sparkles in runaway Clonmel victory
Our glowing comments regarding Razldazl Duke's performance in defeat in the first round of the Red Mills Open Unraced Stake were certainly justified when Dolores Ruth's puppy produced an astonishing run in the second round heats at Clonmel on Sunday.
In the opening round Razldazl Duke had experienced a nightmare passage and performed heroically in finishing an 11-length third behind Colarhouse Jim. On Sunday, however, he flashed from traps, was a few lengths ahead around the opening bends and then drew further and further clear before crossing the line a ten-length winner from Liams Valley in a brilliant 28.37 on a track rated at .10slow. Comparing the times returned on the night, Razldazl Duke's effort was truly magnificent.
His litter brother Razldazl Tierna had been easily fastest in the first round with a 28.53 run and he was next best on this occasion as he led from the first bend to win his heat by nine-and-a-half lengths from Airmount Tess in 28.68. A third member of the Royal Impact/Razldazl Alice litter, Razldazl Ri, kept on well as the finish to be third behind Fraser Black's Coolavanny Wendy in 29.06.
Placing the runs of the Razldazl puppies in perspective, the best of the others was the 28.91 from Graham Holland-trained Colarhouse Jim when winning Heat 5 by two lengths from fellow first round winner Kilgraney June. The other winners were Pat Buckley's Jumeirah Delboy in 28.98 and Denis Kiely's Shaneboy Style in 29.33.
The quarter-finals will be run next Sunday and Razldazl Duke will again run from trap three in the opening heat where his most formidable rival looks the Declan Byrne-trained Mustang Noplan. Razldazl Tierna has an inside draw in the third heat and will be a very hot favourite.
News from Shelbourne is that a decision will be made this morning as to the dates for the Best Car Parks Gold Cup.
Meanwhile, big news from Australia is that Irishman Tommy O'Donovan is on the verge of his first Group success with a dog called Ryno's Raider.
Tommy, a son of He Said So's trainer Timmy and a nephew of dual Irish Derby-winning trainer Michael, has been training Down Under for four years and has done very well from his Victoria base. Ryno's Raider will run from trap two in Saturday's Group 2 Summer Plate final at Wentworth Park and he is likely to be favourite. He is a real railer and the trap will be ideal for the dog.