Hennessy stars show the way in St Leger heats
No fewer than three trainers registered doubles at the opening session of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick on Saturday, with Paul Hennessy the leading operator as his runners Jaytee Dutch and Priceless Brandy posted the fastest times of the round.
Jaytee Dutch, litter brother to the English Derby winner Jaytee Jet, looked back to his very best as he won Heat 3 in a canter. He flashed out of trap five and went right away to win by eight and a half lengths from Theres The Bell in 29.56.
Four races later, the lightly-raced Priceless Brandy showed that he is a serious challenger when he hit the front before the third bend and beat Leave At Dawn by three lengths in 29.58.
Graham Holland had a double with the bitches Ballinakil Clare and Sidarian Pearl as both led all the way to clock times of 29.82 and 29.69 respectively.
Pat Buckley's double came late in the evening with Coolavanny Pat leading from halfway to win Heat 9 by a length and a half from Lightfoot Rafael in 30.00, while the following heat saw his English Derby finalist Lenson Rocky assume control of his heat on the first bend and he enjoyed a two-and-a-half length margin over Native Chimes in 29.75.
Owen McKenna was the star of the show at Shelbourne where he was responsible for two of the three winners in the semi-finals of the Billy Mulvaney Snr & Jnr Memorial 600.
His first winner was the Paul Ellis-owned Farloe Joey, which nipped inside Karlow Billy on the first bend and then raced clear for a three-and-a-half length win over Karlow in 32.65. McKenna was also on the mark with the Peter Comerford and Tony Moore-owned Water Fern in the third heat. Favourite Ballyhooly Henry broke down as Water Fern went clear from traps and won by a length and a half from Slippery Louise in 32.54.
The other heat proved to be a tough battle with Liam Dowling's College Paradise taking over at the second bend and winning by half a length from Newlawn Simon in 33.11.