Ian Fortune

Coonough Paddy seemed to get better and better with each outing through the Friends of Newbridge Derby and so it was fitting he produced his best run of the competition in Friday's decider at the Kildare venue.

This was always likely to be a contest of two halves with the Southfield boys, Duke and King, setting a strong gallop to halfway but they were always going to be vulnerable to the big finishers on the outside of the track.

As it happened, it was Coonough Paddy that got first run at the litter brothers up front. He may have been a long way behind Southfield Duke into the back straight and passing halfway but we had seen the trailer in recent weeks.

Closing rapidly into the third turn, it suddenly became a case of when, rather than if, Coonough Paddy would strike the front. Trained by Barry Clancy for Graham Ashe and Shaun Gresham, the powerful son of Grangeview Ten and Coonough Dolly was bumped on the run in as he made his move but it failed to halt his momentum.

The flying brindle got up to win by two lengths from the long-time pace-setter Southfield Duke with Leeloo also finishing fast to sit just a head away in third. The winner posted 29.90 in victory, his fastest run of the entire competition.