O'Driscoll delight as Skellig Shane flies home
Skellig Shane, owned by Tim O'Driscoll from Glanmire in Cork, was a deserving winner of the Irish Cup in Limerick yesterday when beating last year's runner-up Drive On Smokey in the final before a fine crowd.
In the semi-finals, Skellig Shane beat Needham Frankel by three lengths while Drive On Smokey got the verdict by half a length from Portane Ash.
The final produced a great buckle, with Thomas O'Donovan's Drive On Smokey leading the way but the Denis O'Driscoll-trained Skellig Shane wore him down and took the turn by a length.
Skellig Shane had been one of the favourites since the draw was made, though he was in a very difficult first quarter. He had won two all-aged events during the season but was a disappointing favourite in the Champion Stakes. This success more than made up for that lapse.
Mother Of Pearl, trained by Michael O'Donovan for leading English racehorse trainer Mark Prescott, won the Patsy Byrne Select All-Age Bitch Stake when three lengths too good for Finn Dancer owned by Dessie Tigue.
There were just up decisions in both the Purse and the Plate which were won by Octane Wonder and For The Parish respectively.
Semi-Finals: Skellig Shane 3l bt Needham Frankel, Drive On Smokey 0.5l bt Portane Ash.
Final: T O'Driscoll's SKELLIG SHANE (Mafi Magic/Skellig Beag) 1l bt T O'Donovan's Drive On Smokey (Adios Alonso/Jamaica Jane).
Byrne Select Bitch Stake
Semi-Finals: Finn Dancer 5l bt Isshenamedyet, Mother Of Pearl 1.5l bt Killucan Rose.
Final: M Prescott's MOTHER OF PEARL (Adios Alonso/Intense Focus) 3l bt D Tighe's Finn Dancer (Newinn Wonder/Corupt Wonder).