Buckley's Paradise Silva strikes gold in Leger decider
The big night luck finally changed for the better for Paradise Silva at Limerick Stadium on Saturday as he ran out a very deserving and impressive winner of the €25,000 Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger final.
Silva was strongly supported into 6/4 favourite and the Pat Buckley-trained speedster never put a foot wrong as he proved too strong for his rivals on the night. The local runner Ballyana Foxtrot led narrowly from traps but Paradise Silva was also very fast into stride and he raced up to share the lead into the corner.
Paradise had the inside line and he asserted on the bend, quickly opening a gap over Ballyana and he was surely three lengths to the good at halfway. It was then lengths back to Burgess Oscar in third and Vulturi in fourth.
To his credit, the James Roche-trained Ballyana Foxtrot really stuck to the task mightily and actually closed the gap slightly on the run-in but Paradise Silva roared home two-and-a-half lengths to the good in a very fast 29.50. It was another three-and-a-half lengths back to the third-placed Vulturi which got up in the final stride to head Burgess Oscar by a short head.
Bred by Sean Meade in Miltown Malbay, Paradise Silva is a son of Hondo Black and Dalcash Diva and is owned by the triumvirate of Spaniard Javier Jarne, Englishman Mike Davis and Kerryman Paddy McElligott. Speaking afterwards, trainer Buckley named the 525 as the dog's likely target next Saturday on the Night of Stars spectacular. He hopes to have a very strong team with English Derby finalist Mind The Net going for the 550 and Paradise Maverik for the 575.
Fastest run in the second round of the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake came from the Noel Mullins-trained Stop The World in the final heat where he got up late to beat Fatboyz Josh by a length-and-a-half in 28.38.
Next best was the Moss O'Connor-trained Black Rogue as he won by three-and-a-half lengths from Dark Intentions in 28.46.
One of the most impressive performances came from Ollie Bray's Bubbly Zeus as he led all the way to win the opening heat in 28.51. PJ Fahy's fastest first-round winner Tyrur Tommy overcame first-bend trouble to win from View The Moon in 28.85. The other heats were won by Gerry Merriman's Highview Jayne in 28.64 and Johnny Kavanagh's Go Honda Ted in 28.91.
The Dolores Ruth-trained Razldazlnewstalk landed the odds in the final of the Centra Grand National at Harold's Cross on Friday. He missed the start but took it up at the second hurdle and came home two lengths clear of Native Custom in 29.26.