The team recorded arguably one of our best Night Of Stars performances as we sent out a fabulous four winners on the gala showcase evening at Shelbourne Park.
Rural Aloha, for owners Mrs Helen O’Dwyer and Master Cian O’Dwyer, landed a fine victory in the Gain Bitch Night Of Stars Open 525. Leading on the run up she was passed on the inside at the opening turn. Along the far side she showed great pace to regain the lead entering the third turn, pulling clear she came home well by two lengths in 28.48.
Lenson Blinder then kick started an amazing, quick fire, hat-trick of winners as the meeting came to it’s close. Quickly into stride Blinder produced a foot perfect performance contesting the Ted Hegarty Bookmaker Night Of Stars Open 575, beating a top class field in the process. Moving smoothly throughout he was never challenged and ran out a four and a half length winner for proud owners Len and Pat Ponder. He stopped the clock in a top class 30.72 – the fastest time of the year and a length from the clock.
Not to be overshadowed, litter brother Slippy Cian was next up in the winners enclosure as he produced an exceptional performance on his way to victory in the BoyleSports Night Of Stars Open 550, recording 29.37 in the process. In a practically identical run to brother Blinder’s run, Cian was quickly away and in full control of the contest very early one. Pulling further ahead along the back straight, kennel mate Clonbrien Hero gave chance in vain. Rounding the final turns the positions stayed the same to record a fine victory for delighted owners Full House Syndicate.
The quick fire hat-trick and the evening’s four timer was completed when Macaroon Cruz landed the Future Boy/Sporting Kennels Night Of Stars Open 600 for owners Kevin Lees. Tracking the early leaders along the far side Cruz showed good track craft to draw himself into contention round the final bend, digging deep he powered up the home straight to take victory by a length in 32.73.
It completed a wonderful evening for the team, sending out 4 winners at Shelbourne is difficult at the best of times but to do it on one of the biggest night’s racing was a superb achievement!
The team’s weekend continued in similar vein as we sent out both winners of the Munster Juvenile Cup & Niall Dunne Memorial Semi Finals at Clonmel. As well as both winners we had two further qualifiers meaning we will line up with four in the Final on Sunday. Both Colarhouse Boss and Murts Boher are owned by Larry O’Rourke.
Other kennel news this week saw the retirement of the multiple classic winner, Clonbrien Hero. His CV was exceptional, boasting the 2017 Produce Stakes, 2017 Irish Laurels, 2017 Irish St Leger, 2017 Night Of Stars Winner, 2018 Race Of Champions as well as making the 2018 Irish Derby Final. He has returned home to owner Kay Murphy before taking up his stud career at Newpark Stud.
Macaroon Cruz, Clona Blaze, Slippy Cian, Totos park and Lenson Blinder will all now be rested ahead of tilts at all the major competitions next year.