Jacks Top Gal on song for Morrissey
Nineteen-year-old Rathdowney-based trainer Darragh Morrissey enjoyed the biggest moment of his career when Jacks Top Gal won the final of the Gain Feeds Christmas Oaks at Shelbourne Park.
Connections and punters feared that she might be drawn too far out in six to clear the field to the corner, especially with fast-starting favourite Rockburst Pearl on her inner.
But all these fears were quickly dispelled when Jacks Top Gal pinged the lids and, in contrast, Rockburst Pearl was tardy at the start and was then involved in a bump.
Jacks Top Gal led by a couple of lengths to the bend and was chased down the back by Gurrane Princess.
But Jacks Top Gal wasn't to be denied and she raced home a length-and-a-half winner in a very smart 28.45. Sidarian Lisa finished powerfully to beat Gurrane Princess by a length for second.
It was a terrific result for Crumlin publican Larry O'Shea and his son Jack as they own this daughter of Head Bound and Blasket Music. They have gone close to a few nice pots in recent years and well deserved this moment in the spotlight.
Jim Morrissey, the trainer's father, said: "We will probably go for the Cork and Limerick Oaks with her.
"It was terrific to crack a big final like this with a bitch that was bred in our yard as we have been in six or seven Oaks finals before this and this was the first we won."
The year ended on a high note for PJ Fahy, who scored a terrific treble with his Tyrur runners.
Tyrur Lazarus was a runaway winner of the opening 575 in a fast 31.34, Tyrur Arthur came right back to top form as he won by eight lengths from Mickey Cee Mayo in a best of the night 28.40 and the treble was completed as Tyrur Van Persie unleashed his brilliant pace to win the A1 final in 28.66.
Graham Holland had no luck in the big final but he was on the mark with Sidarian Rhythm in 28.42 and Hawaii Kinsale in 29.80, while Neilus O'Connell turned out Riptide Movement to win a sprint in 18.83 and then Razldazl Amy to win the Consolation Oaks in 28.56.
Having upset the odds in the semi-finals the previous week, Thrill Me again caused an upset when a 4/1 winner of the McLean Bookmakers Ulster Trophy at Lifford on Saturday. He led all for a length and a quarter margin over Colarhouse Lady in 28.90.