Wednesday 12 December 2018

'Ella' leads way for younger brigade

The first round of the English Derby went very well for the Irish team and a total of 14 went into the draw for next weekend’s second round. (stock picture)
The first round of the English Derby went very well for the Irish team and a total of 14 went into the draw for next weekend’s second round. (stock picture)

Michael Fortune

Four of the six Irish Oaks second-round heat winners were 2016 puppies and the fastest was the April puppy Coolavanny Ella which is owned and trained in Castleisland by Noel Browne.

Ella railed tightly when winning Heat 4 by a length from the big-finishing youngster Aayamza Express in 28.33.

The other members of the young set to win their heats were Hows My Luck in 29.10, Droopys Floral in 28.53 and Nice Mystery in 28.47.

Defending Oaks champion Forest Natalee overcame a moderate start when finishing second behind Eight Carat in 28.62, while last year's runner-up Tibet gave a smashing performance when beating Jumeirah Charm by three lengths in 28.47.

Down at Cork, there were upsets in both semi-finals of the Riverside Oscar Open 525, with the Liam Hayes-trained Always In Court winning from Holycross Lad in 28.38, while John Linehan's Drive On Razer flew clear for a five-length lead over Fantasy Joey in 28.22.

While the elimination of Droopys Davy and Tyrur Shay were major disappointments, the first round of the English Derby went very well for the Irish team and a total of 14 went into the draw for next weekend's second round.

In Saturday's final session, Peter Cronin gained a fourth-heat victory when Da Head Hunter won in 29.40, while Graham Holland's Drive On Tipp also won when clocking 29.49.

Droopys Biker had a close shave, making a great recovery to grab fourth behind Da Head Hunter in the opening heat.

Magical Bale was fastest of the round when winning his heat in 29.07 from Brendan Matthews' Innocent Times.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport