It was a warm, sticky evening at Shelbourne Park on Friday evening and, while there were a number of fine displays, the performance of Bakery Lane stood out as he took the feature, the €1,500 final of the Friends of Racing Veterans 525.
June McGuire’s son of Hondo Black and Montblanc may have been the eldest of an old line-up but he scarcely showed any signs of his advancing years as he shot from trap two to contain 2019 Easter Cup winner Clona Blaze throughout.
The Ollie Bray trained Bakery Lane, who turned five back in March was almost a year and a half older than each of his five rivals but he showed them a clear pair of heals throughout. Clona Blaze was never too far away and did look a threat on the third turn, but Bakery Lane galloped right to the line to claim a deserving length and a half verdict in 28.47, in turn securing the twenty third win of his long career.
A STRONG RUN FROM FINISHER
The final of the Retired Greyhound Trust A3 600 saw the Curtis McGrath trained Strong Finisher make virtually every inch to contain the late flourish of Drumdoit Barney.
Despite his name, Paul Shore’s Strong Finisher displayed fine early speed to lead from halfway to the turn.
Drumdoit Barney turned second but couldn’t close on the leader into the third bend. At this point, Strong Finisher had almost three lengths in hand. Drumdoit did run on strongly and closed on the long run for home, but Strong Finisher had no intention of letting his lead slip and he held on to win by three parts of a length in 32.68.
Great Eastern provided owners Stephen Townsley and Seamus Lanney with another professional success in the A1 fifth race.
The talented Martin Lanney trained son of Makeshift and Oghill Lucy shot from trap three and made every inch to see off the staying on Nametab Anubis by a length and a half in 28.47.
After winning well on Tuesday, Highview Landing produced a career best effort in the A2 ninth race when breaking fast and finishing strongly to deny the favourite, Soldier Spy. Trained by Gerry Merriman for Brendan and Joe Sweeney, Highview Landing led into the turn after a fast start but Soldier Spy shot up his inner at this point to move into a clear advantage.
Soldier Spy would ultimately find the 550yd too far for his liking, however. In contrast Highview Landing finished with gusto to lead in the closing strides for a length success in 29.87.
Not Wanted looked a nice type for Leonard and Martin O’Hanlon in the eighth race. After a sizzling sprint trial just six days earlier, it was no surprise to see the son of Droopys Jet and Ballymac Galtee lead the field into the turn and he proceeded to cruise home four lengths clear in 28.56.
Racing ended with a fine display from Produce Stakes finalist Romeo Speedy (Droopys Roddick/ Beaming Olive). The in-form Domestic Arrow made much of the running but David Firmager’s Romeo Speedy was always a close second. Challenging the leader around the last two bends, the Graham Holland trained Romeo Speedy ran out a length and a half winner over Olympic Sparrow in 28.50.
Knockduff Taxi, owned by Patrick and John Doyle, posted the same time earlier in the evening when running on well to win the third race at the expense of long-time leader Walk On Mo. Never far behind the leader, the Declan Byrne trained Knockduff Taxi stayed closer to the fence as they swung for home than the leader before staying on well to secure a half length victory in 28.50.