The Cork Oaks has produced some outstanding performances once again this year and heading into next week's final, it looks really hard to predict a winner.
Millbank Chosen and Cielo clocked identical times when winning their respective heats on Saturday night.
First up was Millbank Chosen as the daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Sylvia scored for trainer Graham Holland and owners George and Padraig Hickey.
The 6-4 winner wasn't the quickest away, but she showed enough early dash to slip around in front from the inside line. Opening up on the back straight, she stormed clear to the second last corner, pulling at least five clear of Benalmadena Roxy. That order remained the same as the impressive crossed the line five and a half lengths clear, in 28.47. Benalmadena Roxy was a length and half clear of Bounard Han.
EARLY PACE REWARDED
All eyes were on Susie Sapphire at Shelbourne Park, but it was the turn of Cielo (Droopys Sydney-Mags Image) down in Curraheen Park as Owen McKenna's lady made it back-to-back wins at the Cork circuit.
Winning the all-important early lead, the 9-4 shot was in top gear heading down the back straight. Billys Diva moved second and looked a real danger heading into the second last corner. Droopys Next One was short of room on the back straight and she seemed to lose all chance as she was about five back in third. Upfront, Cielo kept finding and she landed the spoils once more. Droopys Next One showed massive gears to run down Billys Diva, a length and a half behind the winner and a short head in front of Billys Diva. The time was 28.47.
DRAW FOR NEXT WEEK'S FINAL
1 MILLBANK CHOSEN
2 BENDALMADENA ROXY
3 DROOPYS NEXT ONE
4 BOUNARD HAN
5 BILLYS DIVA
6 CIELO (M)
In other races, Runninta Shay justified his short price of 1-3 when making a spectacular winning debut.
A son of Laughil Blake and Droopys Pizazz, the July puppy was winning by a country mile on debut. Flying into the opening corner and moving further and further clear, the Johnny Linehan trained runner came home clear in a superb 17.57. Owned by the Runninta-Syndicate, he's a greyhound with a big future. (330).