Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Clares' rockets to impressive Champion Stakes win

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Clares ROCKET retained his position as clear ante-post favourite for the BoyleSports Irish Derby with an emphatic winning performance in the final of the Doire Construction Champion Stakes at Shelbourne Park.

It was a victory that was widely anticipated following the late withdrawal of his kennel companion Highview Talent. Clares Rocket shortened even further to become a prohibitive 1/6 favourite to land the €15,000 prize.

But there was no fear for the favourite as he produced another top-class performance. He flew out and led all the way to win by two-and-a-half lengths in 29.29. The Fraser Black-trained Droopys Awesome ran his best ever race as he finished second and it was then three lengths to Farloe Joey in third.

Clares Rocket remains a 5/1 favourite for the BoyleSports Irish Derby which closes to entries on Saturday and commences with the first round heats on Thursday week.

Trainer Graham Holland had another memorable night as he turned out eight winners, six of them at Shelbourne and the other two in the heats of the Red Mills Unraced at Curraheen.

But Holland was out of luck on Friday when he supplied the second and third in the Gain Corn Cuchulainn at Harold's Cross. His Milldean Puma led for 749 of the 750 yards but Ger Kiely's Airmount Tess got up to win by a short head and half a length from Milldean and Jo Jo Fantasy in 41.84.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport