Oran Don set for cracker with 'Cooper'
Oran Don and Ballymac Cooper are set for an intriguing head-to-head in the final of the Champion 550 at Shelbourne Park next weekend, after both captured their semi-finals in fine fashion on Saturday night.
Oran Don was the undoubted star of proceedings as he displayed an awesome turn of early speed to burn off his rivals on the way to a magnificent four-length victory in 29.33.
Fifteen minutes earlier Ballymac Cooper justified his billing as one of Ireland's best when running out a solid winner in 29.43.
Cooper had to work a little harder than many expected after taking a bump on the turn from the fast-starting Great Eastern. He soon recovered, however, leading by the third turn to see off the strong-running Ballydoyle Valor by a length-and-a-half.
On Friday, Graham Holland recorded a wonderful double in the semis of the Tilemaster Kingdom Derby at Tralee.
Blue East overcame a tricky draw to win the opening heat in 28.55, while his kennel companion Riverside Leo justified favouritism in the second heat to run out a ready winner in 28.64.
The Dundalk International takes place on Friday night and the €20,000 invitation has attracted a top-class field.
English and Irish Derby winners Priceless Blake and Ballyanne Sim will be joined by the Oaks champion Killmacdonagh, Cesarewitch winner Skywalker Logan, the brilliant Ballymac Arminta and last year's Derby Plate winner Gurteen Feather. The draw for the valuable one-off will be made this afternoon.