Dancer steals show in Laurels
THE Red Mills Irish Laurels got off to a superb start at Curraheen Park on Saturday when Tom O'Neill's Glenanore Dancer starred with a flying 28.08 run as he led home Burgess Four by nine lengths.
But not far behind him on the clock was the Graham Holland-trained Knockglass Billy as he displayed his renowned early pace when running out a six-length winner from Refuge Of Sinner in 28.21.
One of the surprises of the night came in the second heat where Droopys Jet was denied a clear run early but ran on well to be beaten two and a half lengths by the Peter Cronin-trained Cathys Clown in 28.46.
While Holland's Holborn Catchme was far from the fastest run, the style of his victory left quite an impression and this early pacer can be a major force in the classic. He won by over six lengths from Ronaldo Supreme in 28.55.
Marguerite O'Donoghue's Brogan Henry once again showed his liking for Curraheen when clocking a brilliant 28.29, while the other heat winners were Harry Got Styles (28.50), Mistaken (28.36), Bypass Blackie (28.36), Quail Hollow (28.62), Lassa Expedition (28.57), North Bound (28.50) and Burgess Rumble (28.30).
Meanwhile, father and son team of PJ and Conor Fahy had a superb double in the first-round heats of the Billy Mulvaney Memorial 600 at Shelbourne Park.
Tyrur Sugar Ray, just a week after finishing third in the Irish Derby final, flew around the 600 circuit and got within four spots of Sparta Maestro's track record time when winning by over eight lengths from Flaming Honey in 32.14.
The other Fahy winner was the superb bitch Tyrur Amelia as she beat Melodys Gamble by three lengths in 32.25. The other heat was won by Paul Hennessy's Priceless Rumble as he overcame Monleek Force by a length in 32.71.
PEARL ON SONG
Graham Holland's Rockburst Pearl lived up to her reputation in the opening round of the Droopys Stud Munster Oaks at Waterford, winning handily from Maddies Dream in 28.40. The other heat winners were Frightful Hawk (28.79), Angry Bird (28.77) and Billys Hope (28.61).
The Toals Bookmakers Northern Ireland Derby ended on a terrific note for trainer John McGee as he won heats with Gizmo Classic (29.65), Graduation Day (29.66) and Jaxx On Fantasy (30.14). The other heat went to Allen Agnew's Kincraig Rory (29.94).