Tom Kinane described the atmosphere at Kilkenny track on Friday as fantastic with a big crowd pouring through the stiles for “Ag Rásaíocht La Chéile”.
The feature on the track were the semi-finals of the Deadly kennels A2 525, while the action in the betting ring was every bit as lively.
Of course, a big occasion needs a star and Lemon Nicky stepped up to the plate, claiming her four victory on the bounce in the opening heat. The daughter of Droopys Sydney and Lemon Lucy has superb early peed and she used it to great effect.
Mumhan Rocket broke fast from trap three to challenge early but the Murt Leahy trained Lemon Nicky was electric into the bend and assumed control. It was clear she was really motoring as she passed halfway and her third bend clock backed up this view.
Stopping the clock in a sizzling 16.58, she proceeded to dominate for the remainder, holding the fast-finishing Hello Hammond by two lengths in 28.78. It was a magical display from Billy O’Keeffe’s star. Not only did she claim her place in the decider in fine style but her 16.58 return to the third turn is the fastest since the introduction of the additional sectional.
ADAMANT HAS THE RIGHT APPROACH
Lemon Yohan, an older half-brother to Lemon Nicky, was expected to win the second heat in similar fashion, going to traps a 1-2 chance but he was uncharacteristically sluggish in the early yards and had to work hard to turn third.
In contrast, 20-1 chance Adamant Approach displayed superb early speed to hit the front on the run to the corner. It was a decisive move as the John Rainsford trained son of Pat C Sabbath and Adamant Gem proceeded to make every yard thereafter.
Me Vicky, another outsider, gave chase throughout but there was no catching the pace-setter. Owned by the Any Sport Will Do Syndicate, Adamant Approach went on to score by a length in 29.05. Me Vicky was second with Lemon Yohan a further half length adrift in third.
Remarkably, next Friday’s final will feature three finalists out of Lemon Lucy with Lemon Vicky a younger half-sister to both Lemon Yohan and Me Vicky.
Deadly Kennels A2 525
1 Adamant Approach
2 Hello Hammond
3 Mumhan Rocket
4 Me Vicky (m)
5 Lemon Nicky (w)
6 Lemon Yohan (w)
IRELANDS OWN A GOOD WINNER
The aptly named Irelands Own won the final of the Grange Road Gallop, Mooncoin, ON2 525 earlier on the card, seeing of the spirited late challenge of 5-4 favourite Cu Mochua by a half length in 29.07.
The Murt Leahy trained Irelands Own turned close to the pace before taking up the running before halfway. The son of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Achieve, who is owned by the McLean – Avenue Syndicate, built a decisive lead into the third turn and proceeded to hold Cu Mochua.