Irish Independent Laurels provides a nightmare start for the punters
The punters will want to quickly forget the opening night of the 2016 Irish Independent Irish Laurels at Curraheen Park on Saturday. Not alone did they witness the ante-post favourites Droopys Nine and Sidarian Eska failing to qualify for the next round but they had to endure misery as 11 of the 12 market readers failed to catch the eye of the judge.
Droopys Nine was baulked early as he tried to make his way across to the inside in the early yards and he eventually finished fifth behind Curious Boy in a fastest-of-the-night 28.16. The winner is a near veteran tracker trained by Gerry Holian and he got away smartly and led all the way for a four-length verdict over Riverside Oscar.
Four races later Sidarian Eska joined Droopys Nine on the exit list as he failed to build on an early advantage and also made his exit in fifth place behind the John Linehan-trained Droopys Ford. Sidarian Eska showed ahead early but faded disappointingly and finished fifth behind the John Linehan-trained Droopys Camden in 28.77.
While Curious Boy was the fastest of the night, he was only one spot faster than Pat Kiely-trained Jeanettedollemma which led from the opening bend when beating Mysterious Ways by two-and-a-half lengths in 28.17.
There was another very fast run from Tom Killen's Twilight Tear as she won Heat 9 in 28.19. She led all the way and had two-and-a-half lengths to spare over Droopys Ford. The other notable run of the round would have been the 28.24 from the Paul Hennessy-trained Mucho Macho Man as he led from halfway in Heat 11 to win by four-and-a-half lengths from Burgess Tadhg in 28.24.
There were some outstanding performances at Shelbourne and trainer Owen McKenna was responsible for a high-profile treble. His most impressive scorer was the youngster Cahir Castle which had to dig really deep to win an Open 525 in a best of the night 28.33.
He was cut off on two bends by Anopheles but kept coming back and he hit the front for the only time on the line for a short head verdict. The winner is going the right way all the time and is going to be a real classic prospect this year.
Earlier McKenna's Keplar Nine also turned on the style when winning an A1 550 in 29.78, while the older Farloe Joey brought up the treble as he got up late to beat Swords Ace by half a length in a fastest of the night 29.54.