Peter Farrell

Gizmo Cash set the standard in the opening round of the Bar One Racing Crystal Vase Sprint seven days ago but he firmly established himself as a worthy favourite for the €4,000 feature as he smashed the track record at Lifford Stadium on Sunday night.

The current Shelbourne Park and Mullingar track record holder, the Keeley McGee-trained speedster completed a hat-trick of track records on Sunday as he maintained his unbeaten run through the 325-yard stake and will no doubt head into the decider an odds-on favourite.

Like last week, Gizmo Cash donned the red jacket but this was a stacked semi final with strong claims being made for each of the six runners given four of them had recorded victories in the opening round. However, despite this being a red-hot contest, it proved a straightforward assignment from the even money favourite as he produced a simply sensational display of pace and power, culminating in a performance that will live long in the memory of the patrons in attendance. Fastest into stride from red, the son of Droopys Jet and Down The Green excelled in the opening yards to put immediate daylight between himself and his talented rivals. Running a fantastic opening corner, Gizmo Cash never broke stride and the brindle powered up the hill to come home four and a quarter lengths clear of Stronger, who stayed on stoutly, to claim second. The final qualifying position went to Newline Blake as the clock returned a phenomenal 17.17, some eight spots quicker than the previous record.


In the second semi final, Zaconey Vulcan produced a masterclass of sprinting to head into next week’s decider as the main threat to Gizmo Cash.

Jointly owned by Niall and Eric Foley, who have made the long trip for Naas to Lifford, Zaconey Vulcan ran a fine race last weekend given it was his first look at the Northwest venue. Posting an estimate of 17.49 on that occasion, the son of Laughil Blake was installed as the 5/2 chance behind the favourite Hullraiser (4/5) and this contest was settled within the first few strides. An even break saw Zaconey Vulcan show the superior early pace from trap three and he outpaced his rivals to the opening bend, posting a rapid 4.18 sectional in the process. All over bar the shouting thereafter, Hullriaser made a good fist of it in the home straight but Zaconey Vulcan held firm to cross the line with three lengths to spare. The time was a terrific 17.37 as the local hope, Toolbox Talk, sealed the final qualification spot in third.