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'Inspeed' and 'Happy' set up final thriller

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'A look at the results will tell you that Ballymac Inspeed and Run Happy won their respective heats.' (stock photo)

'A look at the results will tell you that Ballymac Inspeed and Run Happy won their respective heats.' (stock photo)

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'A look at the results will tell you that Ballymac Inspeed and Run Happy won their respective heats.' (stock photo)

The €20,000 Best Car Parks Gold Cup has been a memorable competition and the stage is now set for a thrilling conclusion following Saturday's semi-finals at Shelbourne Park.

A look at the results will tell you that Ballymac Inspeed and Run Happy won their respective heats but that barely starts to tell the story.

Ballymac Inspeed, in particular, had to perform a near miracle to come from a mile off the pace to win the opening semi.

Hot favourite Grangeview Ten set a blistering gallop, leading Malachi into the back straight but it was Ballymac Inspeed, which found himself near seven lengths off the lead at halfway, that came through to score.

Closing rapidly around the last two bends, both Malachi and Ballymac Inspeed looked a threat to the long-time leader as they turned for home.

Ballymac Inspeed still had plenty to do but he finished with a real flourish, driving up the middle of the track to lead late for a half-length verdict over Malachi in a stunning 28.07. Grangeview Ten was a short head away in third.

Run Happy won with a little more in hand. He hit the ground racing from the inside box and, forcing his way past Cabra Firmino on the run to the turn, quickly asserted. Pestana gave chase but Run Happy was too good and emerged a comfortable length-and-a-half scorer in 28.28 despite tying up somewhat.

Ballymac Anton, after a terrible start, ran on well for third. Next weekend's final should be a barnstormer with the draw playing a big part in the outcome.

The draw for the decider is: 1 Ballymac Anton, 2 Pestana, 3 Ballymac Inspeed, 4 Grangeview Ten, 5 Run Happy, 6 Malachi (w).

Irish Independent