Serene Ace and Flashing Willow will meet for the fourth time in the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup in next Monday’s decider after both emerged as runaway winners of their respective semi-finals at Dundalk on Saturday night.
The score is currently three-nil to Serene Ace but Flashing Willow’s latest display suggests he has returned to his very best and their next clash could produce an absolute belter. On the clock, the pair were separate by just three hundreds of a second on Saturday night with Serene Ace again setting the standard for the fourth week running.
ANOTHER PERFECT ACE
Eddie Ryan’s Serene Ace was predicably foot-perfect.
Drawn in three, the son of Scolari Me Daddy and Boleys Ace broke fastest and quickly accelerated into a clear advantage. It was evident a long way before the turn that he was going to emerge a facile winner for the fourth week running.
The race for second was a far more competitive affair. Hawkfield Ozark and Westside Frank disputed second into the turn with Fantasy Jesse on their heels. Hawkfield Ozark ran a good bend to take over in second, while Fantasy Jesse was forced to check slightly, leaving Westside Frank third.
The Michael O’Donovan trained Serene Ace duly stayed on strongly to emerge a brilliant three-length winner in a stunning 20.78 with Hawkfield Ozark winning the battle for second. There was a further gap of a length and a half to Westside Frank in third.
WILLOW WITH A FLASHY RUN
Flashing Willow had earlier won the opening heat in very similar fashion.
Although not starting as fast as Serene Ace, he did show stunning pace into the turn to lead by a length on the bend. As the Pat Buckley trained star set sail for home, Shancol Johnny was broadsided when attempting to cut the turn in second.
It was to cost the previously unbeaten star his chance of qualification. Instead, Runninta Shay, who was a close fourth on the fence, forced his way into second ahead of Manuone, who got up the inside of Corbrack Prince.
The order never changed thereafter with Kenny Glen’s Flashing Willow staying on strongly to run out a ready three length winner in a very fast 20.81. Runninta Shay was second, five and three quarter lengths clear of Manuone in third.
Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup
1 RUNNINTA SHAY
2 SERENE ACE
3 HAWKFIELD OZARK (M)
4 WESTSIDE FRANK (W)
5 MANUONE (W)
6 FLASHING WILLOW (W)