We sent teams to Curraheen Park and Shelbourne Park this weekend where we were represented in some high quality contests; the Irish Independant Laurels and the Shelbourne Champion Open 550.
The opening heat of the Shelbourne Champion Open 550 was a messy affair but luckily both Clona Blaze and Beaming Paradise missed the trouble and safely qualified in second and third spots respectively. Slippy Cian, off the track since contesting the opening round of the English Derby, put in a polished performance as he saw off a strong challenge from the recent Produce Stakes Winner Cash Is King. He led early and looked impressive as he ran on to a four length victory in 29.66. Blue East took his place in Heat 3 and running a good opening turn he built up a long lead from the field. Needing all of this lead he started to come back to the chasing pack off the final turn but held on to claim victory by a short head in 30.09. Heat 4 and Lenson Blinder finished 2nd on his re-appearance as he ran up to a good winner in the very well respected Droopys Biker.
Ballycowen Jake was our first runner in the Laurels Second Round when he lined up in Heat 5. He qualified in second place with a determined performance, showing bravery at both the opening and third turns, and showing good strength to hold his position when under pressure. He ran on for a comfortable second placed finished and safely progress to the next round. The defending Champion, Clonbrien Hero, was drawn alongside kennel mate Sidarian Fern in Heat 6, where he was faced disappointment as he encountered a bumpy run and was eliminated in fourth place. Sidarian Fern fared better as her early pace got her a trouble free passage which she made the most of as she grabbed the third qualifying spot.
Thursday evening saw an impressive performance from novice youngster, Rural Vic, as he completed an unbeaten run through The Jaytee Jet @ Stud Unraced 525 Stake. The youngster bred and owned by Helen and Mary O’Dwyer showed great trapping and early speed to build up a nice lead before coming home two lengths in front to claim the honours.