Holian stars divide the Derby as Glory delivers Oaks knockout
Things don't always go to plan in the BoyleSports Derby at Clonmel but this year they certainly did as litter brothers Reikers Island and Blades Of Fire stormed through to the final.
As they were in the same ownership of Mary Guiney and Mary O'Kelly, the final was divided and the large crowd was deprived of a Derby final spectacle.
It was a remarkable achievement by breeder Denis Guiney and trainer Gerry Holian. It was the first Derby divide since Believe Him and Knockash Rover divided in 1981, and it was the fourth time that Athenry handler Holian has won the Derby.
Reikers Island put away Needham Eoin and Ballygerald Buzz yesterday on his way to the final, while Blades Of Fire had a bye first time and then won easily from Wiseguy Mark in the semi-final.
Reikers Island had qualified at Westmeath Utd while Blades Of Fire gained his ticket at Rathkeale.
The Horse & Jockey Hotel Oaks produced a winner from Athea in Co Limerick with Knockout Glory taking an exciting final from Gadget Queen.
Trained by Bill McAuliffe for young Liam McAuliffe, Knockout Glory enjoyed a bit of luck when the hotly fancied Dicks Bimbo looked sure to win their quarter-final clash but the hare veered at the top of the hill when Bimbo had a nice lead.
From there Knockout Glory prospered. She ran away from Yodgik in the semi-final, then appeared to face a really tough test against Gadget Queen in the final.
But Knockout Glory was quickly away from the slips and displayed a smashing turn of early pace. She kept on well up the hill to win by a length.
The winner provided the first leg of the classic double for the sire Adios Alonso while the dam is Knockout Kate. She had qualified at Charleville.
Gadget Queen was trained by Brendan Matthews and had qualified for the Oaks at Wexford.
It was also a memorable day for Westmeath with both winners of the respective Champion Stakes being won by comrades trained by Kevin Carr in Killucan.
First up came Killucan Rose's victory in the Bruton Memorial Bitch Stake as she turned over the fancied Skellig Jewel by a length.
In the next course Carr turned out Howdododo to win a hugely exciting Kevin Smith Memorial Champion Stakes final from Kyle Mozart. Howdododo had half a length to spare for the Cheese & Chips Syndicate.
Both winners are members of the Johnny Casanova/ Your Symbolic litter.