Planet Perfecto set a strong standard in the opening round of the Kilbride Kennels Midlands Derby at Mullingar on Saturday evening, posting a quick 30.92 (rated .80 slow in the heavy conditions) on his way to a facile victory in Heat 5.
Paul and David Hanlon’s charge had given the impression in recent outings that he was ready for a step up in grade and it is on the horizon following this latest display. Racing in the stripes, he made light work of the wet conditions to dictate from the early yards.
Four lengths clear on the corner, he moved with real fluency throughout to eventually cross the line seven lengths clear of Bective Hope.
A FINE DOUBLE FOR HANLON
David Hanlon later completed a fine double with John Croker’s Crokers Prince, as he came home in front in Heat 6.
Spook Magoo did the pace-setting duties but Crokers Prince was always poised in second spot.
Going around the leader between the last two bends, Crokers Prince eased on to record a comfortable five length victory in 31.24.
SILVER A GOOD WINNER FOR JOE
After Planet Perfecto, Bective Silver was next fastest as she emerged a popular winner of the final heat for Joe Quirke.
Again, this was won from the front with Bective Silver flying up the fence to hold a commanding lead throughout.
The daughter of Top Savings and Bective Stella was always in control as she ran right to the line to see off the 550yd track record holder Clonfert Lorenzo by five lengths in 31.07 (.80 slow).
FARLOE WINS OPENER
Dan Byrne’s Bawn Farloe opened up proceedings with a fine display of front running in Heat 1.
The son of Skywalker Farloe and Ripley Diana came home with a length and a half in hand on Manalishi Blitz in 31.70.
A DEVINE EFFORT FROM FAHY
Fifteen minutes later it was the turn of Paddy McCormack’s Fahy Devine.
She too made every inch with the daughter of Laughil Blake and Fork Lightening recording a fast 4.68 sectional to dictate. Despite swinging very wide off the final turn, she held off the late charge of Rorys Saab by a half length in 31.32.
THREE ON THE SPIN FOR WILLSEEYOUTHERE
Willseeyouthere made it three wins on the bounce in Heat 3 as he too led throughout to claim win number eleven of his fine career.
Trained by David O’Neill for Seamus and Olan Teague, the son of Ballymac Vic and Shrewd Clover was always keeping his rivals at arm’s length and he eventually hit the line a length and a half to the good over Ruffian Rose in 31.31.
KNIGHT TOO STRONG
Heavens Knight (Droopys Cain/ Heavens Lilly) was one of the very few winners that didn’t dictate throughout as she reeled in Masterlink before going on to score.
The latter led to the final turn but Heavens Knight got up his inner and, when they bumped, Masterlink quickly capitulated.
Instead, Shelone Mo stayed on well to finish closest to John Clancy’s Heavens Knight who won by a length and a half in 31.61.