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Slippery Bob sets standard

Larry Dunne's Slippery Bob, a one-time leading fancy for the Irish Derby, was the top performer in the first round of the Billy Mulvaney Memorial Open at Shelbourne on Saturday.

There had been doubts as to whether he would stay the 600 yards trip, but he put the doubters straight as he led all the way and won by three lengths from Durability in 32.65.

Robert Gleeson's Ardkill Star is still a comparative novice but showed he has a big future when winning his heat in 32.78. It was his back-straight pace that set this up and he won easily by four-and-a-half lengths from Droopys Casanova in 32.78.

Graham Holland's Dundyven Joe continued his fine recent form as he won by a length from Pool Hawk in 32.92. In the final heat Pat Gordon's Fatboyz Tyson led from the first bend in beating Razldazl Barack by four-and-a-half lengths from Razldazl Barack in 32.77.

The semi-finals of the Open 350 were won by Johnny O'Sullivan's Speak Out Mac in 18.64 and Sheila Devoy's Ambitious Vinnie in 18.93.

The final of Mullingar's Agri Store Fair Warrior Sprint was won by Anthony O'Grady's 6/1 outsider Go Butler, who just edged Tyrur Gray for the first-bend lead and went on to win by two lengths in 21.49.

Paul Hennessy's Barefoot Machine (41.88) was the fastest winner in the first round of the William Hill English St Leger, while former Dolores Ruth-trained Fleeting Image made a winning English debut when clocking 42.23.

Irish Independent