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Big Mike worthy of cup win

Tyrur Big Mike proved his brilliance once again with the bravest of victories in the final of the €25,000 Easter Cup at Shelbourne Park.

This was racing at its best, with the veteran tracker showing that he has retained all his fabulous talent as he battled back from the brink of defeat to claim a deserved major success.

Tyrur Big Mike was runner-up to his litter brother Tyrur McGuigan in the Irish Derby final back in 2010 and was retired due to injury several times in the interim.

His performances in the early stages of the Easter Cup suggested that he was at the peak of his form and in the final, he proved it. Not the best away, he destroyed his rivals for early pace before forfeiting the lead by running wide on the opening bend. Kingo briefly took it up, but Big Mike was back in front by halfway. He again ran wide on the final bend, but then dug extremely deep on the run-in to hold the challenge of the reigning Irish Derby champion Razldazl George by half a length in 29.73.

Meanwhile, at Curraheen Park, Milldean Panther resumed winning ways as he came from a bad position early to beat Knockglass Billy by three parts of a length in 28.46 in a semi-final of the Formula One Grand Prix. The other semi was won by Cambushmore in 28.77.

The final of the McCarthy Insurance Oaks resulted in an impressive victory for the Francie Murray trained Smoke Pixie, who beat Tivoli Maeve by two and a half lengths in 28.50.

Irish Independent