Vega stars again as Painstown Chief surprises
For the second week on the trot Sidarian Vega was imperious in victory when overpowering his second semi-final rivals in the Best Car Parks Gold Cup at Shelbourne on Saturday.
The make-up of the race had been changed dramatically by the late withdrawal of the fancied Lenson Sanchez, which was found to be off colour when being readied for the journey. Suddenly, Sidarian Vega had nothing on his inner with trap one now vacant and it proved to be the bonus that it had appeared.
Vega got away smartly and forged ahead on the run-up to be pursued into the back by kennel companions Proud Graham and Skywalker Pearl. Fair Taxes then produced a big-finishing flourish and came through to finish a three-length second to Sidarian Vega in a brilliant 28.11 and it was then half a length to Proud Graham in third.
There was a major upset in the opening heat where the Paul Hennessy-trained Painstown Chief came up trumps at 10/1. The field appeared to charge traps early here but Painstown came away well on the inside and he denied Lenson Panda and Slippery Fred the first-bend lead.
Painstown then led down the back from Going To Work and they were virtually together around the bottom. Here, though, the strength of Painstown came into play and he pulled away to win by a length and a half from Slippery Fred in 28.61 and it was a similar distance to Jaytee Dutch.
The draw for the final is: 1 Slippery Fred, 2 Jaytee Dutch, 3 Proud Graham, 4 Sidarian Vega, 5 Painstown Chief, 6 Fair Taxes (w).
Hennessy also won the final of the Storm Control @ Stud Juvenile when Kilara Max came from behind Redstar Captain to win by four lengths in 28.47.
Apart from his Shelbourne hat-trick, Paul Hennessy was also on the mark at Curraheen Park where Jaytee Valencia justified evens favouritism in the final of the Gain Cup.
Oaklands Paddy led to the third bend but Jaytee proved the stronger on the run-in and got up to win by a length in 28.48.
Lurriga Gold finished fast to take second place by a short head from Oaklands Paddy.
The heats of the Yahoo Kennels Open 730 were run at Waterford and Pat Dalton's great bitch Tradition put down her claims to another success when running away with the first semi in 40.72. She won by no fewer than 11 lengths from Master Lynch.
The other star stayer Ballymac Bonnie was in the wars early in the second heat and eventually finished third behind Sean Dowling's Joyful Dribbler which had five lengths in hand of Shaneboy Doc in 41.07.