Christmas lights up leger
The Pat O'Connor-trained Christmas Box posted the fastest time of the entire first round of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger when winning his heat on Saturday in 29.69.
He was in front from the first bend and cruised home from Tranquil Time. Next best on Saturday was Pat Daly's Judicial Academy as he stayed on strongly to beat O'Connor's Bellewood Prince by a couple of lengths in 29.74. The two other heat winners were Larry Dunne's Slippery Bob in 29.98 and Robert Gleeson's Hare Mack in 29.83.
There were a few shocks in the first round of the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake at Shelbourne but most of the favourites survived to contest next week's semi-finals.
Fastest of the round was the Ronny Wuyts-trained Rockchase Zico, recent winner of the Munster Puppy Cup at Clonmel, which won the third heat in a sizzling 28.39. He took it up from Black Cyclone on the second bend and then comfortably held the favourite Deerfield Music by three and a half lengths.
Pat Buckley's Modern Man led from the opening bend when beating the hotly fancied Mozzletoff by two and a half lengths in 28.65.
There was also a big run from Tommy O'Donovan's Simple Class as he led all for a six-length margin over Swords Spitfire in 28.53. Another to impress was James Robinson's Boxie as he outstayed Cool Dude by two lengths in 28.62. The other winners were Beaming Therapy in 28.74 and Hardy Buck in 28.77.