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Blake makes late Shelbourne Easter exit

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The number of late entries has caused the Gain 600 to be postponed until Saturday week (stock image)

The number of late entries has caused the Gain 600 to be postponed until Saturday week (stock image)

SPORTSFILE

The number of late entries has caused the Gain 600 to be postponed until Saturday week (stock image)

It was an amazing night at Shelbourne on Saturday with racing finishing just before midnight as a result of two mechanical failures. While on the track there was a massive upset as Derby champion Laughil Blake failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the Dandelion Bar & Nightclub Easter Cup.

The mechanical problems were unfortunate and most frustrating for the huge attendance but this is part and parcel of the sport and at least a very large proportion of the crowd remained on site for the conclusion of racing.

The big topic of the night was the lapse on the part of Laughil Blake and trainer Michael O'Donovan wasn't able to throw any fresh light on the subject yesterday. "I can't get him checked out until tomorrow," the Tipperary trainer said, "and there is no point in speculating at this stage".

All looked fine for Blake when he broke smartly and just led up from fastest first-round winner Slippery Fred.

Laughil edged inwards into the bend and bumped with Slippery Fred, coming off worst from the incident. The slow-starting Sidarian Blaze had made up big ground and he also nipped past Blake. The favourite suffered further when he had a bump with his half-brother Laughil Duke on the third bend and that was that.

After an exciting battle up front Larry Dunne's Slippery Fred resisted Sidarian Blaze's challenge by a length and-a-half in 29.68 while it was five-and-a-half lengths to Laughil Duke in third.

The other big fancy Droopys Nidge made no mistake whatever in Heat 4 where he had a battle with August Rush to halfway, but then turned on the gas and drew right away to win by nine-and-a-half lengths from August Rush in 29.52 with Barefoot Agent in third.

The opening heat was won by Graham Holland's Coran Sky in 29.78 while Pat Guilfoyle's Laughil Bolt won the second heat in 29.95.

Matthews' double

The big story from the Kirby Memorial first round at Limerick was the double for last year's winning trainer Brendan Matthews. The litter brothers Leave At Dawn and Hoodwinked had failed to win a race between them in limited opportunities last year but they certainly made amends this time.

Leave At Dawn clocked 28.53 in winning the first heat while Hoodwinked unleashed a big burst of early pace to lead up and he won by an impressive four lengths from Across The Way in a best of the night 28.37sec.

Other big runs were produced by Owen McKenna's Farloe Hunter in 28.46, Graham Holland's Ballydoyle Honey in 28.50 and kennel companion Rural Hawaii in 28.55.

On Friday Sidarian Vega turned in a massively impressive performance when turning the €15,000 GMHD Juvenile Classic final into a procession winning by nine-and-a-half lengths in 28.18.

Indo Sport