Dog chat: Knockglass toast of town
A massive cheer rose from the Curraheen Park stand as Knockglass Billy, the only Cork-owned finalist, raced into the back straight a clear leader and thrilling victor of the €30,000 Irish Laurels final.
The winning margin of seven and a half lengths over the defending champion Razldazl Rioga doesn't really tell the full story of this race.
Razldazl Rioga flew out of the outside box and showed in front as he cut across for his favoured inside route.
However, halfway to the bend he bumped with Confident Rankin and appeared to lose his hind leg momentarily.
Inside runner Knockglass Billy was already perfectly positioned and poised to at least share the lead to the bend. Suddenly, he was up to three lengths in front on the bend as Allen Master, Confident Rankin and Tinas Nova had been involved in a major melee.
From there, Knockglass Billy raced home from Razldazl Rioga in 28.30, with Boherna House a length back in third.
Knockglass Billy was a major pre-race gamble and closed the 2/1 favourite as the locals stood by the Cork representative, which is trained in Co Tipperary by Graham Holland.
By winning the Classic, Knockglass booked his place in the Night of Stars Open 525 at Shelbourne on December 1 and may have a prior date in the Gain Masters at Kilcohan Park.
At Shelbourne, Forest Ralph won the Gain Feeds Select Stakes Trial Stake in 28.49, while Priceless Rumble won a Mini Open 525 final in a blistering 28.31.