Beryl shows Oaks credentials
Brilliant feature-winning performances at Shelbourne and Tralee from Rockburst Beryl and Shes A Terror respectively and a brace of winners for Paul Hennessy at Wimbledon were the highlights of a terrific night's racing on Saturday.
Rockburst Beryl established herself as a live Sporting Press Irish Oaks contender as she was a very convincing winner of the Healthcare & Transport Service Oaks final, leaving her rivals standing in a flying 28.29 run.
Graham Holland-trained Beryl flew from the traps and was always in control as she led from Tyrur Annaleen. The order never changed and Beryl won by three and a half lengths from Annaleen in 28.29, with strong-finishing Piercestown Lucy some two lengths behind in third.
It was the second leg of a rapid double for Holland and owner Ian McGinnis as they had won the preceding Open 525 with Beryl's half-sister Rockburst Pearl. This was an almost identical performance as she too flashed out of the traps and also won her race by three and a half lengths from Badminton Girl in 28.58.
Both bitches are now on course for the Irish Oaks, which closes to entries tomorrow morning at 10.30 and which will commence on Thursday.
The other big performance at Shelbourne was served up by the Owen McKenna-trained Roxholme Bully as he spread-eagled his Open 550 rivals.
It was his huge turn of pace on the run to the bend that set up this runaway victory and he was six lengths clear by halfway. He won by five lengths from Fridays Carroll in 29.48 and will surely be in the top three or four in Irish Derby betting lists.
The Lee Strand 550 final at Tralee carried the week's biggest prize and this also resulted in a flying performance from a brilliant young bitch.
The Eamonn Cronin-trained Shes A Terror blasted out of the No 3 stall to immediately establish her superiority and she had the race sewn up when six clear of Ring A Chris at halfway.
Shes A Terror never relented in her stride and the November '11 youngster raced home four lengths clear of Ring A Chris in 29.77, with Yeah Giovanni a length third.
Paul Hennessy sent three dogs over to Wimbledon for Derby Trial Stakes and they returned with two victories and a second place.
Priceless Sky was very impressive when running out a seven-length winner in 28.52, while Priceless Rumble led for much of the way when winning in 28.71. His Money Talks won many friends as he broke slowly but ran on well to be beaten just over two lengths by Bonamassa Rocks in a flying 28.43.
There was heartbreak for Meath's John Butler after Kisses For Cloda posted the fastest time of the Derby trials last Friday night, only to be discovered to be lame the following morning. The suspected fractured hock injury puts him out of the Derby, which closes to entries this week.