'Foley' the master in Independent Laurels
Kieran Lynch became the first Cork trainer to land the Irish Independent Irish Laurels in 22 years at Curraheen Park on Saturday where the odds-on favourite Rockybay Foley gave a foot-perfect performance when leading all the way for a three-length winning margin.
Making it even better, Lynch and owner Chrissie Slyne also had the third finisher Rockybay Rover which was caught in the final strides for second spot by Native Chimes.
Rockybay Foley was sent off a 4/5 favourite and he maintained his marvellous career record as he flew out of the three box and was never in any danger of being caught. Rockybay Rover chased him hard all the way but Foley was quite supreme as he won by three lengths in 28.27 from Native Chimes which got up late to beat Rockybay Rover by half a length for second.
The Tracton trainer said that Rockybay Foley will now go for the BoyleSports Irish Derby at Shelbourne. He said: "He handled Shelbourne well last year when winning the Night of Stars. He will love the long run up and I wouldn't be worried about him staying the 550 yards."
He will likely renew rivalry in the Derby with the Johnny O'Sullivan-trained Native Chimes which will also be very suited by the 550-yard trip.
Another sure to go for the Derby is the Ollie Bray-trained Bakery Lane which was one of the early favourites for the Laurels and won the Consolation final in 28.40.