While the Boylesports Champion Stakes took centre stage at Shelbourne on Saturday, the remainder of the card also provided some wonderful racing with the feature of the undercard the semi-finals of the Boylesports Champion Plate and Born Warrior and Priceless King lived up to their names by ruling in their respective races.
Priceless King (Good News/Priceless Dancer) is an improving sort for Bryan and Kathleen Murphy and he gained a deserved success in the first semi of the Champion Plate. Quickly away from one, Paul Hennessy’s charge moved slightly to the middle on the run up but showed his usual fine early dash to lead another improving youngster Paradise Nikibel into the bend.
King displayed fine pace down the far side to keep Nikibel at bay and turned for home with a two-length lead over his rival, who has won over further. Nikibel closed all the way to the line, but Priceless King had done enough and went on to score by a length in 30.07. Da Bold Freddie was a big eyecatcher in third and remains one to keep on the right side of.
Born Warrior (Ballymac Best/Mountaylor Queen) enhanced his already magnificent strike-rate when scoring for the eighth time in eleven outings.
Jennifer O Donnell’s charge went up well with the fast-starting Deadly Showtime as the duo raced stride for stride around the opening bend.
Born Warrior displayed big pace out of the second bend to quickly open up a two-length over Deadly Showtime as they hit halfway with Ballymac Joey improving back in third, albeit some seven lengths behind the leader.
Despite running very wide off the last bend, Born Warrior had enough in hand and scored impressively for the What-Ever-You-Like Syndicate in 29.80. Deadly Showtime was a couple of lengths back in second with Ballymac Joey taking the third and final qualifying position.
Ballymac Finn (Droopys Sydney/Ballymac Petsy), who has shown immense promise in his short career to date, ran out a facile winner of the Happy 60th Birthday Yvonne Barry Open 550.
Well Met was fastest away from four and moved inwards on the run up, but credit to Ballymac Finn he showed plenty of determination to force his way through to lead at the opening turn.
Leading into the back straight, Ballymac Finn increased his lead to three over Well Met into the third turn and never too his foot off the pedal. Strong to the finish, Finn crossed the line with four lengths to spare over Well Met with Romeo Command back in third place in 29.56.
To highlight the quality of the run from the winner, his time was faster than that of the three Champion Stakes semi-final winners and the two Champion Plate winners. Liam Dowling certainly has a nice type to campaign with in the coming months.
PHANTOM RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS
Hanover Phantom (Slippery Robert/Be Slow Dor) ran out a gutsy winner of the last race on the card, an Open 575 contest.
It’s safe to say Declan McDonagh’s charge hadn’t had the best of luck around the Dublin venue in his three pervious outings but ran out a deserved winner in 31.10.
Cricket Score took a flier from two and led early but was soon pressed and headed by Dromana Fury on her outside. Hanover Phantom was just behind the pair on the inside but showed great courage to drive through on the fence to take over the lead.
Down the far side Leanne Flemings youngster began to pile on the pressure and had three lengths in had on Dromana Fury at the third bend. Powering home, Hanover Phantom had four lengths to spare over Dromana Fury on the line with Ringthemoon back in third. Fancied runners Massachusetts and Killeacle Phelps failed to get involved after moderate starts
JET SET GO
Jacktavern Jet (Droopys Jet/Newinn Madam) ran out a most impressive winner of the opening contest when making all for a fine victory in 28.53.
Fast away from six Jet, he showed fine early to lead up Hello Sydney by a couple of lengths into the turn.
Jacktavern Jet and the runner up Hello Sydney pulled clear of their rivals into the third turn where Jet still held a two-length lead. Sydney briefly looked like mounting a challenge around the bottom bends, but Jacktavern Jet pulled away on the run in to score comfortably. Hello Sydney ran well back in second with Coss Real Deal taking the bronze medal. It was a promising effort by the winner, and he certainly has a bright future.
DEANO DELIVERS ON DUBLIN DEBUT
Millfield Deano (Droopys Sydney/Millfield Diva) left it late but got there in time to deny the front running Pintsnotpilates to claim the Talking Dogs A1 525 in 28.61.
Well away from two, Deano was headed early Luna Rocket in one and Pintsnotpilates in six.
It was Pintsnotpilates who took control down the far side and raced into a two-length lead over Luna Rocket although Millfield Deano was now catching the eye and he moved into second. As they turned for home, Deano stayed close to the fence and came home strongly to deny Pintsnotpilates by a half a length with Syd Tashadelek running on well just behind in third. It was a seventh win for John Newman and Rachel Wheelers charge in what was an impressive Shelbourne Park debut.
RACHEL AT THE DOUBLE
Trainer Rachel Wheeler landed a quick-fire double as Annagh Bailey (Droopys Sydney/Bellmore Fantasy) made most for an impressive victory in race 3.
Making a fast start out wide, Bailey was joined and passed on the run up by the early paced Romeo McQueen as they ran into the corner.
Running a fine opening bend, Bailey emerged on the shoulder of Romeo McQueen as they entered the back straight and showed bright speed to open up a definite advantage at the third bend for Dan and Peter Stackpoole. Powering his way to the front, Bailey came clear of his rival for a most impressive success in personal best 28.34. He looks a nice sort for Rachel Wheeler and may have more to offer.
URBAN ON FIRE
Reggie Roberts took the fourth race on the card courtesy of his Urban Fire (Laughill Blake/Idle Gossip). After a flying start, Urban Fire raced clear to the bend ahead of an improving Cryptopunk who moved wide.
Cryptopunk cut back in slightly around the opening bends and brushed with Stefans Rock in two, costing both greyhounds some momentum and allowing Urban Fire to poach a four length at halfway. Cryptopunk closed the gap all the way to the line, but Urban Fire is a top competitor on his day and held off the late challenge of Cryptopunk by just over a length with Churchtown Syd running on well just in behind. The winning time was a smart 28.50.
WINX HITS RIGHT NOTE
Drumcrow Winx (Crash/Drumcrow Jessie) continued her rapid progression for owner Crawford Ruddy and trainer Graham Holland when holding off the game Monbeg Zinzan to take the open 575 contest on the card.
Quickly away from four, she was joined on her inner on the run to the bend by Monbeg Zinzan. The duo race side by side down the far side ahead of Jirano Supreme and Famous Eight just in behind. Winx drove to the lead at the third turn, at the expense of Zinzan, and opened up a two-length buffer as they turned for home. Monbeg Zinzan is a strong and rallied close home, but Winx held him of to record her fourth success in seven starts, stopping the clock in 31.16. Famous Eight ran on well just behind in third.