Barry Drake

Saturday night's racing at Curraheen Park was as good as it gets, we expected fireworks and that's what we got. Two sub-28-second winning performances in the opening round of the David Fitzgibbon Memorial, along with a couple of fine displays in the Denis Linehan Solicitors Open Unraced Stake.

In the third heat in the opening round of the David Fitzgibbon Memorial, Bockos Diamond, trained by Graham Holland for the Remember-Them-Syndicate, clocked a sensational 27.88 when winning in great style. In front after a couple of strides, the September puppy displayed massive all-round gears as he won by a country mile. A stunning front-running winning effort from the 4-6 favourite and that's back-to-back wins at the Cork track.

In the opening heat, Graham Holland also produced a spectacular winner, this time it was Untold Dollar who did the business for owners Calum Purdy and J Purdy. The August puppy also came home alone, after flying from traps, he was soon clear and the well-backed favourite went on to win, in a fantastic 27.93, clear of his rivals.

In the second heat, Broadstrand Syd lit up the track with another huge run on the night, a superb 28.12 display for local trainer John Linehan and owners the Ryan-Drake-Donovan-Syndicate. The August puppy, the well-supported 4-6 favourite, produced sizzling early sectionals, clocking 3.15 and 15.66, something we had never seen before. Niosfearrnabolt was running a big race in second and he did make late gains to get within three and a half lengths at the line.

In the second heat in round two of the Denis Linehan Solicitors Unraced Stake, Poldarc (Droopys Sydney-Ballycowen Lucy) impressed when winning for Eugene Price. Winning the all-important early lead, the August young, a 7-2 shot, stuck to his task well as he held Randolph Scotts, by a length, in 28.50.

In the opening heat, House Martin (Droopys Sydney-Susie Sapphire) scored for trainer Peter Comerford and trainer Peter Cronin. The September puppy, a 4-7 favourite, had to work hard for the lead, but once in front, he quickened clear. All one-way traffic up front, it was a 28.65 winning run, with seven lengths back to Lindas Yes Baby in second place.

The outsider of four runners landed the third heat, Timmys Bucks (Burgess Bucks-Trusted Exile) winning for Tim and Olive Cliffe. The 5-1 shot dug deep in the closing stages as the November youngster just got the better of Parkview Tan, who had made most, by a neck, in 28.82.

It was a great night all round for trainer Johnny Linehan, Footfield Violet made it five wins from as many starts in the €2,000 to the winner Dan & Sheila Buckley Memorial A3 550 final. Martin Hagan's runner just made the corner in front and from there, the even-money favourite was always in control. It did get tight late on as South Of Sydney was finishing strongly, however, it was a career-best in the decider, a 29.74 winning run, with just a neck separating the front two.

In the 11th, an A0, Drive On Beauty ran out a fabulous winner for Chris O'Donovan. The August puppy had caught the eye in recent outings and this was a powerful display from the improving youngster. A 28.51 winning display, four lengths clear of Droopys Zelda.

In the opener, Ballymac Run returned to winning ways for the Dowling kennels. The 1-2 favourite made the most of the drop into A1 company to win, in 28.59.

In the final of the Curraheen Park A1 Stake, it was Ballybawn Belle who exploded from traps to make all the running for trainer Paraic Campion and owner Ailbhe Cullen. A smart 28.77 front running winning display in the €1,000 decider. The 5-1 shot returned to winning ways on the big night.

Racing concluded with a big run from Brogan Hillbilly who scored in the A1 575 for John and Maururite O'Donoghue. Showing plenty of pace up front, the 7-2 winner got the better of Da Tapper Flynn, by two and a half lengths, in 31.25.

Footfield Violet for Martin Hagan & John Linehan - winner of The Dan & Sheila Buckley Memorial A3 550.

Image: Footfield Violet for Martin Hagan & John Linehan - winner of The Dan & Sheila Buckley Memorial A3 550.