Thursday 23 March 2017

Razldazl George seals Derby glory for Ruth

Dolores Ruth made it two successes in the Classic when Razldazl George won a dramatic Ladbrokes.com Irish Derby final at Shelbourne Park on Saturday.

A massive crowd contributed to one of the most memorable nights in the history of the famed stadium and they witnessed some superb performances and thrilling finishes.

The Derby final was the most dramatic of all, with the heavily backed favourite Rockchase Bullet looking a likely winner as he entered the bend with a half-length lead from Razldazl Bugatti.

But the two dogs bumped heavily on the corner and both subsequently lost their momentum.

Suddenly Razldazl George and Dream Walker came into the reckoning and they stormed past the two leaders on either side, engaging in a rivetting head-to-head battle for the remainder of the 550-yard distance.

They were virtually inseparable as they hit the line and there were feelings that it could be a dead heat.

But the judge announced that Razldazl George had shaded it by a short head from Dream Walker in 30.02, with Krug Ninety Five some three lengths back in third.

It set in motion some jubilant scenes as Minister Shane McEntee presented the trophy to Roy Nicholls, Brendan Hurl, Liam Marks and Ruth -- the four members of the triumphant Dazzling Syndicate.

Ruth later announced that George has now been retired for the season but he will be back next year for a season geared towards the defence of his Derby title.

He could have a major rival next year in Milldean Panther, which thrilled the crowd with an absolutely sensational performance in an Open 525.

The John O'Flynn-trained puppy flew around in a sizzling 28.13 and will now be aimed at the National Puppy Stakes.

The Consolation final provided another fantastic finish as the Peter Cronin-trained Hey Gringo pipped Makeshift by a short head in 29.83, while Helen Cashin's Smooth Daddy led all the way when beating Big Bam by two lengths in 29.95 in the Ladbrokes.com Derby Plate.

Irish Independent

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