Bully career tragically cut short
Owen McKenna claimed yet another major triumph on Saturday when Vanrooney and Farloe Calvin finished first and second in the final of the Gain Feeds Select Stakes at Waterford.
But highlighting the ups and downs of sport, McKenna also watched on Inter-Track as his star performer Roxholme Bully smashed a front leg when a hot favourite for the semi-final of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick.
McKenna confirmed that the dog has a badly broken front leg and will never run again. "He will have an operation on Monday and hopefully we can save him for a stud career," said McKenna.
Roxholme Bully this year won the €80,000 Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake.
At Waterford, Farloe Calvin flew out of the inside box and led until joined late by second favourite All About Ya. Vanrooney was third entering the final two bends, but upped the gas turning for home.
His familiar finishing surge saw him home to seal the €13,000 prize by a head from Farloe Calvin in 29.47.
The positive headline from the St Leger semi-finals at Limerick was the heat double for trainer Paul Hennessy, who was pipped in the final stride of last year's final when Cashen Mafuma collared Priceless Sky.
This year he will have two major players in the final in Locnamon Bridie and Jaytee Hellcat.
Skywalker Farloe was the leader in the first semi and he was chased into the back by Locnamon Bridie after the Roxholme first-bend incident. Locnamon won by three parts of a length from Skywalker Farloe in 29.62, with Tyrur Sugar Ray staying on to be a four-length third.
In the second heat Jaytee Hellcat came from lengths behind General Wolf to win in 29.82 and Rockview Turbo sealed his final place three and a half lengths back.
Expectations that the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake might develop into a terrific competition were enhanced by the first-round performances on Saturday at Shelbourne.
Graham Holland supplied two brilliant winners – his puppy Sidarian Blaze was the star turn as he came from behind to beat Boylesports Hero in 28.38. In the preceding race Cuil Cool had provided the first leg, beating Newlawn Impact in 28.60.
Other heat winners were Deanridge Pennys in 28.44, Toms Knowledge 28.67, Paradise Malibu 28.51 and Emers Superstar 28.45.