Camas back on top of Gold Cup market
On a very good weekend for trainer Owen McKenna, his kennel star Camas reassumed favouritism for the SIS Live Gold Cup after victory in the opening semi-final at Shelbourne on Saturday.
Last year's Irish Derby favourite was only fourth on the run to the bend as Isabels Boy led the way to Lolos Joe and Cabra Millie. Camas then moved third out of the second bend and went past Cabra Millie to take up the chase.
Camas displayed ultimate courage in wearing down Isabels Boy close home for a half-length margin in 28.14.
The stake was blown wide open when second-round winner Kereight King never got into contention. It was the Robert Gleeson-trained Stay Thirsty which led them around the bend and this strong stayer was always going to take beating.
Ardfert Thunder challenged into the third bend. But Stay Thirsty resisted Ardfert's best to win by a length in 28.35.
McKenna's weekend served to display the strength he has in his kennel. On Friday Farloe Calvin and South Armagh completed a GMHD Juvenile Classic double at Tralee and then on Saturday, apart from Camas, he had another terrific double in the heats of the Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake at Limerick.
His Roxholme Bully was hugely impressive as he posted the fastest time of the first round of the Kirby Memorial, clocking 28.34 for the 525 yards. This highly regarded youngster blasted out of traps and stormed to victory by 11 lengths from Footprintsinsand in 28.34.
The other McKenna winner was Fear Big Star, which was prominent all the way in the final heat and then held off he late run of Royal Diva by a length in 28.48. McKenna's Farloe Buddy also shaped very well as he came home strongly to be beaten a neck by Graham Holland's Holborn Junior in 28.44.
Ruairi Dwan's Borna Gem was a most impressive winner in the opening round of the Champion Bitch Stake at Thurles, where he won by a wide margin in 28.67.
At Curraheen Park the fastest winner in the opening round of the Kudos Supersprint was John McGee's bitch Bulmers Baby as she came home a length and a half in front of Sashas Blondi in 17.78.
The €15,000 pool wasn't won on Saturday night, with the last tickets disappearing on the fourth leg. It now moves on to Shelbourne next Saturday with the size of the pool to be decided today.