Turner takes a nice double in Waterford
AS EXPECTED, there was a very large turn-out for the final of the €1,300 Gain Select Stake at Waterford on Saturday night last, and with a novelty terrier race and an excerpt from the musical 'Cats' by the local theatre group, the diners were spoiled with all of the entertainment on offer.
On track the racing was excellent and the final was a cracker as the Oaks winner, 'Mildean Tally' ('Headbound-Talita Beauty'), just proved too strong for 'Killinan Crash', the recent Future Champion Stake winner, in a driving finish.
Champion stud dog 'Headbound' had quite a night as his son, 'Paradise Madison', set a new track record at Shelbourne Park, recording a fantastic 27.92 - the first dog ever to break the magical 28-second barrier at headquarters.
And in a race earlier, another brilliant son, 'North Bound', scorched to a superb 29.39 (550) win. It's as if he was cementing his number one stud dog achievement for the second year in a row.
There was no Co. Wexford runner in the big race, but Barntown trainer Nick Turner kept the flag flying, recording a nice double when 'Cruisin On True' ('Royal Impact-Coco Nilita') followed up his win of the previous week, taking the second race by a clear six and a half lengths after breaking well from his trap three box. With some crowding at the first bend, he raced away to a fine 28.93 win for owner Robert F. Bennett (Great Britain).
The fifth race, a 575 contest, saw 'Droopys Chris' score his 21st win when out-battling 'Bandicoot Boo' and 'Avalon Soldier' in a tight finish in a time of 31.54, completing the double for owner and trainer.
On Friday night the Thomas Colfer (Bannow)-owned ' Bannow Bruce' ('Top Savings-Fois Gras') scored a nice win in the 325 yards sprint race. Getting up the inside off the last bend, he battled on well to the line to hold 'Rains Pal' by half a length in 18.16. Tom has had some good fun with this fellow and there should be more success to come as he can add to his six wins so far.
Kilkenny is proving a profitable venue for owner Jay Ryan (Enniscorthy) as his 'Hawki Gold Bars' won his heat of the A6 Stake in 29.74 on Wednesday night last, scoring his second win from three starts and more improvement can be expected. Jay also saw his 'Miss Gold Bars' qualify for this Saturday nights' A2 Bitch final in Limerick track. After encountering trouble at the first bend, she did very well to get up for third spot.
There was also a good winner at Clonmel track on Sunday night last when the Derek Wilde (Enniscorthy)-owned and trained 'Carrigoe Essie' ('Nobooth For Gary-Mary's Moment') scored a nice win in her heat of the A3 Guys And Dolls Stake, but only just when coming home strong to get up close to home to get the verdict by a short head in 29.51. 'Essie' will run against bitches again in this week's semis.
A couple of wins to note from Enniscorthy included that of 'Whitefort Ness' owned by Joan O'Connor (Oylegate) who took the final of the John Codd Memorial A4 Stake in a fast 29 seconds. 'Ness' is by 'No Booth For Gary-Whitefort Pride' and has won three out of her last four starts.
Owner John Kehoe (Clonroche) enjoyed double success when his 'Royal Blaze' (29.01)and 'General Blaze' (31.96 over 575) scored nice wins. Both are by 'Headbound' out of 'Clonroche Lark'.
The semi-finals of the Leger saw both favourites score, 'Skywalker Puma' and 'Priceless Sky'. Both dogs are by 'Royal Impact' and it should be a great battle between 'Sky', who has recorded the fastest time, and 'Puma', the Derby winner. Both dogs are unbeaten through the stake so something has to give this week, and it will be live from Waterford along with the second round of the Comerford Cakes Puppy Stake from Shelbourne Park, featuring new track record holder 'Paradise Madison' on Saturday night. It's the place to be alright.