Sidarian Blaze and Slippery Fred duly served up the anticipated thriller in the final of the €25,000 Dandelion Bar & Nightclub Easter Cup at Shelbourne on Saturday night, with Sidarian confirming his semi-final superiority by a tight length.
The punters favoured Slippery Fred, which closed at 5/4, with Sidarian Blaze a close 6/4 second favourite, and it was Slippery which broke fastest and led to the bend from the Graham Holland trained-kennel companions Sidarian Blaze and Coran Sky.
Entering the back, Slippery was well ahead of Sidarian but the latter really flew down the far side. He went past Slippery on the inside just past the 750 box and had daylight advantage around the bottom bends.
Just as in the semi-final, Slippery Fred re-launched his bid off the final bend but this time he failed to overhaul Sidarian Blaze, which crossed the line a length to the good in 29.52. Slippery Fred was then followed over the line by two other Holland runners, Coran Sky and Gaytime Hawk.
It was a terrific victory for the February 2012 son of Kinloch Brae and Silverhill Tina which is owned by the Sidarian Syndicate of Simon Wooder, Darren Johnson and Ian McGinnis.
Holland confirmed afterwards that Sidarian Blaze will next be aimed at the English Derby with a few trials around the London circuit in advance.
The shocks continued in the Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake quarter finals at Limerick on Saturday and the star performer was the Robert Gleeson-trained Droopys Braedon, which maintained his unbeaten career record with a splendid 28.35 return in winning the second heat.
Breadon displayed his usual early pace to go clear but was all out to hold the combined challenges of Boylesports Jet and Beaming Boost by three parts of a length and half a length respectively.
It is increasingly likely that the winner of the €80,000 event will come from this trio.
Biggest upset was the elimination of both Coolavanny Jap and Ballydoyle Honey from the opening qualifier. They were involved in big first-bend trouble, and Coolavanny then appeared to bump into Boherna Pedro on the third bend and lost his momentum.
Victory in this heat went to Pat O'Connor's Pale Moon, which led all the way and just held Boherna Pedro by a short head in 28.71.
The third heat saw favourite Go Django hit the deck at the bend along with Ring Ben and victory went to Neilus O'Connell's Fastaway Jayfkay in 28.73, while the concluding heat saw Graham Holland's Rural Hawaii hold Rachel Wheeler's Cunning Barney win in 28.45.