MOFO AND NEXTONE PRODUCE THE GOODS IN OAKS

Ian Fortune

An incredible night at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night was headlined by the brilliant performances of Raha Mofo and Droopys Nextone as they claimed their place in the final of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks on the back of a wonderful success.

Both bitches displayed all their many qualities and they can now look forward to challenging for major honours next weekend with the stage set for a thrilling conclusion to the bitch classic.

MAGICAL MOFO DOMINATES

Raha Mofo was a brilliant winner of the opening heat for Marissa Molloy and Murt Leahy.

Rarely has an Oaks semi-final been over so early but once the powerful daughter of Droopys Sydney and Clares Queen came away racing from trap three to lead the field in the early yards, there was never going to be any other winner.

Blessed with immense power and pace, she duly dominated. The race for second and third was far more competitive. Ballymac Miranda was just second into the turn, be it two and a half lengths behind Raha Mofo.

At the corner, Ballymac Whispa attempted to edge off the fence causing traffic to each of the five runners in pursuit of Raha Mofo. It ultimately meant that Raha Mofo was allowed to increase her advantage although it scarcely mattered as nothing was going to land a paw on her anyway.

Tullovin Vita emerged from the pack to go second before the second bend and that was where she was to remain, while Ballymac Miranda recovered well to go third.

Sadly, for the connections of Droopys Gloss and Reckless nanny the opening bend scrimmage ended their hopes of qualification. Ballymac Whispa looked close enough to make a run for third but could never get by Ballymac Miranda.

It made little difference to Raha Mofo, however. She was on her way into the Oaks final on the back of a brilliant performance. She maintained a relentless gallop all the way to the line to score by seven and a half lengths in 28.16. Tullovin Vita was second while Ballymac Miranda dug deep to hold on for third, a further four lengths adrift.

NEXTONE TOO STRONG

The second heat was less straightforward but Ray Hamilton and Johnny Linehan won’t mind as Droopys Nextone eventually came out on top in what was a tremendous contest.

Ballymac Art and Fahy Devine both went up fast to dispute the lead into the turn but they were closely followed by Droopys Nextone, while Scooby Princess was fourth.

Ballymac Art got the better of Fahy Devine to halfway to set a strong pace but she was under severe pressure when both Droopys Nextone and Scooby Duchess came with a big run into the third turn. Scooby Duchess flew up the fence and looked the biggest threat, especially when moving upsides off the final turn but she seemed to run out of steam. In contrast, Droopys Nextone made her moved on the outside of the front two, showing real strength to take charge inside the final fifty yards.

In fact, she actually won with a bit in hand, crossing the line two lengths to the good over the tiring Scooby Duchess in 28.18. Ballymac Art clung on to the all-important third qualifying spot, just a half lengths further back.  

Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks

Final draw

1 SCOOBY DUCHESS

2 BALLYMAC ART

3 RAHA MOFO

4 BALLYMAC MIRANDA

5 DROOPYS NEXTONE

6 TULLOVIN VITA (W)

 ******

IRELAND SETS UP MURT’S HAT TRICK

While Raha Mofo produced the goods for Murt Leahy in the Oaks semi-finals, she wasn’t his only kennel star to shine bright.

In fact, he recorded a brilliant treble at Shelbourne while also taking the feature at Curraheen Park (read Barry Drake’s report of Ballybough Champ’s victory in the Deadly Kennels Open 750).

Irelands Own initiated the Dublin treble when making the most of a favourable draw in the stripes to win the second race, although he did have to show real pace and determination to do so. Not the fastest into stride, the son of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Achieve moved second on the bend and quickly challenged Callaway Masters.

Going to the front as they entered the back straight, he quickly put daylight between himself and his pursuers. Despite tiring on the run in, Irelands Own, owned by the McLean Avenue Syndicate, held on to score by a length from a rallying Callaway Masters in 28.53. There was also an eye-catching run from Pablo Escobark just a head away in third. 

LUJANEO IMPRESSES TO COMPLETE TREBLE

Lujaneo, owned by the Club of Champions Syndicate, was the last leg of the Murt Leahy treble as she ran out a really impressive winner of the penultimate race over 550yds.

The daughter of Dorotas Wildcat and Droopys Ant has always had plenty of ability but she has really found her feet in recent weeks.

Prominent in the early yards behind the pace-setting Ceide Prince, she moved with real purpose down the back straight to strike the front before the third turn. Once doing so she skipped clear to eventually come home an ever-increasing six length winner over the early leader in 29.63.

MUSTANG IS JET PROPELLED

Mustang Jet is rapidly turning into a really top class performer and he emerged a wonderful winner of the final of the RCETS A0 525.

 Here Macho Pride flew up the inside of the track to deny Mustang jet the early lead but it didn’t dent his hopes.

Showing superb back straight pace, Mustang Jet joined and headed Macho Pride into the third turn to quickly put the race to bed. Trained by Dolores Ruth for Sean Bourke and Paul Horig, the son of Droopys Jet and Mustang Kay Cee coasted home a brilliant two length winner over Macho Pride in a rapid 28.23.

A DOUBLE FOR KAROL

Karol Ramsbottom recorded a tremendous double, highlighted by the last grasp victory of Cu Mochua in the fifth race over the 550yd trip.

Cryptopunk seemed a certain scorer when dictating from the outset but he was to run out of steam on the run in.

Mullingarshuffle was his nearest challenger for much of the journey but Cu Mochua was never too far away in third. In a desperate finish, Cu Mochua, owned by the Thirsty Seven Syndicate, simply outstayed his rivals to lead inside the final twenty yards for a length verdict over Mullingarshuffle in 29.56.   

MAKKARI IN A THRILLING OPENER

There was a desperately tight finish to the opener with Makkari getting up in the final stride to record a very unlikely success, initiating a wonderful double for Karol Ramsbottom in the process. Arrowhead shot to the front approaching the third turn from the early pace-setter Fahy Grace and seemed likely to go on and score.

Makkari recovered from a slow start to move third at this point. Staying tight to the fence, the powerful son of Confident Rankin and Foxy Diva improved to go second as they entered the straight before powering home to collar Arrowhead in the final stride for a head victory in 28.67.

TED DICTATES THROUGHOUT

2021 Derby finalist All About Ted returned to winning ways in the finale over 575yds.

As he did at the Winter Racing Festival, Willie Rigney and Richard Brown’s son of Kinloch Brae and Enable relished the longer run to the turn.

Showing fine early speed, the Peter Cronin trained star asserted before the corner and proceeded to make every inch thereafter for a pretty comfortable two length success over the fast finishing Ringthemoon in 31.00. 

AWAY AND GONE FOR ORAZK

Jerry Connors’ Hawkfield Ozark is increasingly showing the same characteristics as his dam Brownstown Tango.

The latter was a really natural starter with some exceptional form around Shelbourne Park and her son, by Laughil Blake, is also a flying starter.

The Jamie McGee trained speedster turned the fourth race into a procession, flashing from trap two to dominate throughout. Bartlemy Jas did show pace to go second on the corner but was never a realistic threat to the leader who went on to score by three lengths in a slick 28.35.

HOMER COMES HOME IN FRONT

Recent Produce Stakes finalist Newinn Homer claimed a seventh career victory in the tenth race for owners the Pillar Syndicate and trainer Graham Holland.

The Other Kobe dived for the inside in the opening strides from trap six but somehow managed to get most of the way across.

Ballymac Leon also went up fast along the fence to contain The Other Kobe into the bend. The pair had a great tussle down the back straight with The Other Kobe eventually getting up his inner into the third turn but he was forced to check at this point.

Meanwhile Newinn Homer was never far away in third and, as the front two became entangled, he made his move on the final turn, coming through to score by two lengths from Ballymac Leon in 28.48.   

PHELPS FLOATS HOME

Liam Dowling’s Killeacle Phelps looked a very bright prospect in the third race when coming late and fast to deny long-time leader Innfield Jet.

Only fifth around the corner, he improved with every one of his massive strides down the back straight.

So much so that by the third turn he was breathing down the neck of the front two, Innfield Jet and Delirium Tremens. Powering home, the son of Ballymac Best and Killeacle Sansa took charge in the closing stages to win by a length and a half from Innfield jet in a fast 28.39.

TOOLMAKER SHOWS REAL ZIP

Toolmaker Zipper displayed a clean pair of heels to his rivals in the seventh race. Trained by Robert Gleeson for Willie Hyslop, the son of Droopys Sydney and Droopys Dance was always in control after getting away to a fast start. Flaminmoneybags did close the gap in the latter stages but never seemed to be getting to the leader and Toolmaker Zipper held on by three parts of a length in a quick 28.47.