Knocknagoshel owners land Oaks ticket in Newcastlewest
Dooneen Cathy proved a worthy winner of the Oaks Trial Stake at Newcastlewest last Sunday afternoon on what was the 70th running of the annual meeting.
The daughter of Adios Alonso and Barrack Millie was running in just her second outing of the season having previously been seen at Listowel when going down to Garbally Fire in the opening round.
In an ironic twist, Dooneen Cathy gained sweet revenge this time round as it was indeed Garbally Fire who she defeated in the deciding course of the Stake. Jointly owned by Knocknagoshel's John Walsh and Nicky Cotter, the January whelp was the 4/1 outsider with four remaining in the hunt however she sprung an upset in the penultimate buckle when defeating the 'odds on' shot Duarigle Dorris by half a length.
Sporting the white collar in the deciding course, Dooneen Cathy was freely available at even money for the course with Garbally Fire hotly fancied. The favourite made a clean exit from slips and showing good early pace she led her rival to halfway. However Dooneen Cathy was beginning to gather momentum on the stand side and wore down her opponent on the rising ground. To the roars of a packed stand the winner began to pull clear of her opponent and held half a length advantage by the opening turn.
Kyle Steel (Adios Alonso/ Blades Of Steel) claimed his maiden success of the season when landing the feature event of the weekend, The Munster Cup. The Marie Field trained runner was 4/1 in the long odds book, with all the focus being on the Kevin Barry trained Outoftheshadow who was having his first outing of the season.
Having produced a lacklustre performance in the opening round, Outoftheshadow was soundly beaten by the eventual winner at the quarter final stage. Kyle Steel continued his dominance with a semi-final victory over Granard Flash by four lengths and scored by a similar distance in the final course of the premier event against Cooga Ocean.
There was further upsets in the All Age Bitch Stake most notably when Blades Of Honour saw her unbeaten winning streak come to an end in unlikely circumstances at the hands of Bellinteer Kerry in Round 2. Her victor went on to qualify for the final only to be outdone by Howyamissus (Adios Alonso/ Rosie The Rascal) who bucked the odds when scoring by half a length.
The highly touted Bexhill Liam (Adios Alonso/ Bexhill Mandy) brought much needed relief to favourite backers when he claimed the Derby Ticket for John Barrett and Conor Sheehan from Glin. Trained by Brendan Matthews, the imposing brindle impressed throughout the Stake and a semi-final victory over Boys Brigade by half a length saw the 2/1 long odds favourite book the white collar for the final against Cobra Exodus.
The latter was first to show from slips in the deciding course, however his lead was brief and Bexhill Liam was quickly back on terms and finished the buckle with a powerful turn of foot from halfway to take the flag by two lengths. The winner's impressive weekend showing has earned him a quote of 14/1 for the National meeting.
The Paul Walsh owned Ceol Na Mara (Blades Of Hope/ Sand Sea Model) made her early pace count in the final of the John Kelly Memorial Stake when stole an early march on rival Fun Bobby. The latter rallied from halfway, but the local runner just held on to claim victory in a "just up" decision.
Cloudy Wonder (NewInn Wonder/ Staceys My Girl) was a convincing winner of the Ardnacrohy Stake for the Dream On Syndicate. The winner was smartly into stride off the red collar in the final course and held a three-length advantage over Coffee In Biddys at the opening turn.