Holland on the double
THE first-round action in the National Puppy Stake produced further evidence of the huge young canine talent in Ireland this year.
While Paradise Martini had posted the best time of the opening session, 28.48, he was surpassed on Saturday when Cabra Noel clocked 28.41 in winning Heat 7.
In what looked a very competitive contest, Highview Dusty led up from Dear Pa but Cabra Noel was a menacing second entering the back. He led by the third bend before running out a two-and-a-half-length winner from Highview Dusty, with Parkfield Harvey and Dear Pa next.
It was the first leg of a great double for trainer Graham Holland as his Farloe Noah made a fast start in Heat 8 and led all the way before holding off the strong challenge of Fridays Carroll by half a length in 28.66.
Heat 4 produced a real upset as the Laurence Jones-trained Hanover Laddie displayed top early pace to win in 28.49. The hot favourites Razldazl Will and Rattlin Goldstar bumped on a number of occasions in the early stages and ruined their own prospects.
Razldazl Will ran on strongly to finish second behind the three-length winner, while Rattlin Goldstar depended on the back door to qualify for the next round.
There was a popular local success in the final of the Con Kirby Memorial at Limerick on Saturday, when Tom Fitzgerald's Ocean Crash led all the way to win by two lengths and a short-head from Saint Bernard and favourite Royal Patrol.