Scullion star Holly blitzes Cesarewitch field
BOBBY SCULLION made his way back north to Gilford in a very happy mood last Sunday night after his bitch Kathleens Holly had shocked the favourites in the final of the Gain Feeds Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar.
Freely available at 6/1 and greater, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Razldazl Lily won the 600-yard classic on merit to clock up the 12th victory of her racing career.
She broke fast and led up to the bend from Garryvoe Jet. The latter looked the likely winner when edging ahead before the third bend, while the favourite Questoe Per Te also came right into the picture as they turned for home.
But Kathleens Holly, which is a leading six and eight-bend performer, then made full use of her stamina as she came storming back on the outside to land the prize by a length.
Defending champion Gizmo Classic came from a hopeless position on the third bend to finish second, a neck in front of Garryvoe Jet.
The winner is bred in the purple and Scullion will breed from her when she comes in season, which could be in the near future.
If that doesn't happen she is likely to contest an Open 750 at Limerick on Kirby Stake final night, Saturday week and then perhaps go for the Barry's Tea 750 and the Gain Corn Cuchulainn.
On the subject of Mullingar, the sales which were scheduled for Saturday night will not take place due to lack of entries. Justin Kenny says it is hoped to stage a sales later in the year.
The Lee Strand A3 550 has been a great source for future stars over the years and one presumes that a few potential champions are lurking in the entries for this year's contest, which starts at Tralee this evening and boasts a tidy winner's prize of €8,000.
The first five heats will be run this evening with the remaining five on Friday. The second heat looks interesting, with Paul Hennessy's Budgie Bypass (8.37), Graham Holland's Riverside Path and Brendan Maunsell's Fire Height Hawk in to go.
Owen McKenna has a promising sort in Vanfrankie (8.52) in Heat 3. A half-brother to Puppy Derby winner Vanrooney, he has a perfect inside draw and can step up on his efforts at Shelbourne.
One that jumps out from Friday's runners is Sean Meade's Paradise Malaga, a half-brother to Paradise Madison and Mall Brandy with a number of useful trials to his credit. He goes in Heat 8 and he will be the focal point of much attention.
A sweepstake for A5/6 greyhounds might provide a few decent betting opportunities at Harold's Cross this evening, with Austin O'Meara's Leonies Penny (9.45) a possible all-the-way winner of Heat 3. In the following heat Ger Barber's Ravenswood Patch (10.0) may have the call over the promising Cool Moment.
Entries close at Shelbourne today for the €20,000-to-the-winner Gain 600 and the €6,000 Healthcare & Transport Services Puppy Oaks, which both start on Saturday.