Skywalker Rory storms to Leger success
Pat Guilfoyle enhanced his status as one of Ireland's leading young trainers when turning out Skywalker Rory to win the €25,000 Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick on Saturday.
The Moneygall man had previously won an Irish Oaks with Ms Firecracker and two Cesarewitch titles with Definate Opinion but this was an extra-special moment given its proximity to his homeland.
Things didn't go as predicted early with the joint favourites Offshore Bound and Peregrine Falcon losing their chances at an early stage.
Offshore Bound was totally stranded in traps and simply had too much ground to make up, while Peregrine Falcon didn't get his usual smart start and was crowded as Jaytee Valencia moved a little wide from traps to join fast-starting Sidarian Vega.
On the outside Skywalker Rory came away well in front of Tyrur Tommy.
The race was shaped at the opening bend as Jaytee Valencia and Peregrine Falcon bumped and Tyrur Tommy was baulked .
Suddenly it was a two-dog race with Sidarian Vega showing the way narrowly from Skywalker Rory. The latter flew past Sidarian Vega at halfway and then pulled right away for a six-length margin over Sidarian Vega in 29.47; it was another six lengths to Offshore Bound in third.
Owner Ray Patterson wasn't present but Guilfoyle gave much of the credit for the success to mother Alice who he said, "runs the show, she is so dedicated".
"We have a nice little team and it is working well. That victory entitles him to an automatic entry to the Night of Stars and he will contest the 550 there and then he will have a break."
Meanwhile the semi-finals of the Gain Feeds Select Stakes were run at Waterford and in the first heat the Brendan Matthews-trained Shutthe Backdoor held the late run of the favourite Paradise Silva by three parts of a length in 28.30. Go Dex Go was a three-length third.
The Peter Cronin-trained Tynwald Rodney came from well back to beat Lemon Miley and Hee Haws Sheriff by half a length and a length in 28.50 in the second semi.