Saturday 17 February 2018

Puma falls on night of shocks

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

It was a night of shocks at Shelbourne on Saturday as the favourites for the Champion Stakes were sent packing in the semi-finals.

The biggest shock was the elimination of Skywalker Puma as he ended up on the deck after being caught up in a first-bend melee in the opening heat.

Skywalker wasn't the best away and was towards the back of the field as Jaxx On Fantasy led and cut across for the bend.

The field tightened up and there was a major tangle behind the leader, with all the other runners involved to some degree.

The John McGee-trained Jaxx On Fantasy went on to win by seven lengths in 30.06, with Fear Big Star finishing second, three lengths ahead of Tyrur Amelia.

Money Talks and Skywalker Puma came in adrift of the field. The good news was that Skywalker Puma was reported to be okay yesterday morning by Matt O'Donnell.

Easter Cup winner North Bound failed to qualify from the second heat, where he was a close second into the back straight behind the fast-starting Lodgefield Turbo, but could make no impression on Peter Traynor's dog, which won in a brilliant 29.59.

The 525 national record holder Paradise Madison, in his second comeback race, ran on very strongly from fourth place to finish a length second with North Bound a length-and-a-half third.

When Northing Simple and Willow Man bumped on the first bend in the third heat, the John Linehan-trained Droopys Adler slipped through to the lead and he was chased by Melodys Diamond and Tyrur Sugar Ray.

They could make no significant impression on the leader and Droopys Adler came home a length in front of Melodys Diamond in 30.01, with Tyrur Sugar Ray a head third.

The semi-finals of the Townview Foods Champion Plate saw Pat Buckley's Universal Dream come from well behind to win in 30.09, while Peter Tiernan's Abbeyville Tipp was on the mark in 30.16.

The first round of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk produced some super runs with Owen McKenna's Farloe Calvin fastest in 21.11.

However there were other smart efforts from Dolores Ruth's Razldazl Rioga in 21.12, Graham Holland's Cambushmore in 21.20 and Seamus Graham's Mesedo Black in 21.24.

Ramble reaches final

The Johnny Doyle-trained Pakies Ramble has reached the final of the Thurles Fresh Milk Tipperary Cup after winning his semi-final by three parts of a length from Bua Tommy in 29.06.

The other semi saw John Ryan's Point Hondo hold off the renewed effort of All About Ya by a head in 29.09.

Irish Independent

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