'Samurai' battles to 25/1 Shelbourne win
While the Christmas presents are not due to be handed out until next Sunday, the Shelbourne bookmakers received their gifts earlier than usual courtesy of Jaytee Samurai's 25/1 success in the final of the Comerford Cakes Open 525 on Saturday night.
It was the longest-priced major winner at Shelbourne in a long time but, by coincidence, Paul Hennessy was also the winning trainer when Haliska Vienna turned over kennel companion Late Late Show in the 2002 Euro Off-Track 600 final at odds of 20/1!
Bull Run Bolt went off favourite but he broke slowly. Instead, Jaytee Samurai made his best ever start and the youngster led into the back from Good News with Bull Run Bolt now in third. The two challengers joined the leader around the bottom bends and any one of the three could have won.
But Jaytee Samurai battled hardest to edge a neck victory over Good News in 28.86 with Bull Run Bolt three-quarters of a length third.
Hennessy was thrilled with the performance and said: "It was a huge performance and he really starred when it got tough and physical. He will probably be rested now for the Kirby Memorial at Limerick."
Graham Holland duly won the Gain Christmas Oaks but it was with 'second string' Sidarian Pearl as she flew out of trap three and won by three lengths from Airmount Tess in 28.25 with Ballinakil Clare third.
Galway owner PJ Fahy ended the night in a blaze as his bitch Tyrur Gene made a stunning 750 yards debut as she came from last to first in the first third of the race and then stormed clear to win by four-and-a-half lengths from Boylesports Duke in a brilliant 41.66. Then, 15 minutes later kennel companion Tyrur Van Gaal romped home in 30.94 for the 550 yards.
At Curraheen Park, the final of the Cork Open 575 was won by Barry Kiely's Boherash Ozzie in 31.20 from Vickis Lady.