Thursday 5 December 2019

Farloe blazes trail to victory in Easter Cup


Michael Fortune

Twenty-two years after winning the last of their five Easter Cups, Matt and Frances O'Donnell were back to winning ways on Saturday at Shelbourne when Skywalker Farloe won a thrilling final of the Dandelion Bar & Nightclub sponsored classic while they also supplied the third placed finisher, Skywalker Legend.

Expectations were that Skywalker Farloe would be coming from the rear of the field but it certainly wasn't anticipated that the lightly raced tracker would be in front heading into the back straight.

For once he popped out of the traps smartly and went to the bend with Tyrur Arthur and Cabra Buck.

On the bend Farloe showed determination to dash into the lead and he had a few lengths in hand as he entered the back straight.

Tyrur Sugar Ray, having fluffed his lines at the start, was now in second after tracking brilliantly around the corners. It was still Skywalker Farloe in front by a couple of lengths on the third bend. He drifted wide turning for home and Sugar Ray closed but Farloe held on by three parts of a length from Tyrur Sugar Ray in 29.63 with Skywalker Legend staying on strongly to claim the third prize.

Skywalker Farloe is jointly owned by Ray Patterson, Gavin Byrne and Tom O'Donnell and the likelihood is that he will have a little break before being aimed for the Champion Stakes and the Irish Derby.

Emer's a star

Now just 12 remain in contention for the €80,000 prize on offer to the winner of the Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake at Limerick and the Gerry Holian-trained Emers Superstar moved into the driving seat with an exciting victory in 28.38 in Saturday's quarter-finals at Limerick.

Ivy Hill Prince led early but was passed at halfway by Emers Superstar which then held the renewed effort of Ivy Hill by a half length in 28.38.

Peter Cronin's Crokers Champ made his early pace tell when beating Jacks Ace by half a length in 28.40 while Liam Dowling's Green Prince gained an easy three-and-a-half length success over Adoremus in 28.41.

The other heat saw the Brendan Matthews-trained Boylesports Hero come from behind to beat Jackal Frampton by three parts in 28.43.

Top College

Moss O'Connor's College Maybe flew from traps when a runaway winner of the Hennerty Sales Cork Oaks final at Curraheen on Saturday. She won by six and a half from Cloon Glory in 28.44.

John Linehan and owner Kieran Ryan had a big weekend double. Droopys Der won the FFK McCalmont Cup at Kilkenny on Friday in 29.13 and then on Saturday they won the Red Mills Open Unraced Bitch at Newbridge in 28.79.

Mind pipped

Pat Buckley's Mind The Net was pipped by the favourite Holdem Spy in the Scottish Derby final on Saturday with Peter Cronin's Metro Jack being knocked over on the first bend.

At Wimbledon there was a treble for Paul Hennessy in Derby Trials Stakes as Ecclestone, Barefoot Scholar and Priceless Bolt all raced to victory.

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