Heavenly victory for Paradise
Semi-final promise duly translated to final brilliance as Paradise Madison raced to a most impressive victory in the Townviewfoods.com Champion Stakes final at Shelbourne Park.
The Ollie Bray-trained tracker was returning from a lengthy period out with serious injury when he finished fourth two weeks back behind Jaxx On Fantasy, but on Saturday he displayed how rapidly he has hit top form as he beat the same rival by two lengths to capture this major prize.
There was great confidence behind Paradise Madison as he was backed into 6/4 favourite, and a huge roar emerged from the stand when the 525-yard national record holder emerged in second place behind the fast-starting Jaxx On Fantasy into the back straight.
Paradise Madison then revealed his class as he raced up to join and then head the leader on the final bend before winning by two lengths in a smart 29.46. It was a similar distance to the strong-finishing Melodys Diamond in third.
The victory brought huge relief to Navan trainer Bray, who has nursed this dog back from repeated injuries and had him spot on for Saturday's final. Believe me, there is better to come from him yet.
"It is great for the dog and the owners to win a prize like this as it was well deserved," said Bray. "Even better is the fact that he has come out of the race sound and we now look forward to having a crack at the Irish Derby with him".
The Derby, incidentally, starts on Thursday week, and entries will close this Friday.
On the supporting Shelbourne card, Peter Tiernan's Abbeyville Tipp was a game two-length winner of the Champion Plate in 29.87, and Niall Dunne's North Bound won the Consolation Champion Stakes in 29.53.
A BUGGY BONANZA
It was a fantastic night for the Buggy family from Bagenalstown at Thurles on Saturday when the Tom Buggy-owned Kilgraney Tomson was a four-and-a-half length winner of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup from Pakies Rumble in a fast 28.64. The winner is totally home-bred, being by Aries Son out of Lady Kilgraney.
Peter Cronin's Holycross Gerry held on by half a length from Cashen Cocoa to win the final of the €3,000 Catunda Harry Tri Distance at Curraheen in 31.28.
Reigning champion Cambushmore was the star of the second round of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk on Saturday when coming home an eight-length winner from Mofara in a brilliant 21.07. His trainer Graham Holland also had the second fastest as Leeview Dave beat Razldazl Rioga in 21.23.