In it’s Eighth year, the Night Of Stars never fails to produce some of the best racing seen on track, and this year’s renewal was no exception. With this year’s named after the late Micheal Fortune, the inspirational leader behind the NoS concept, we are hugely delighted to have landed three wonderful winners on the night with some exceptional performances from the team.
The opener started in sensational fashion as Lenson Austin gave the 575yd record a real rattle in the Priory Walls of Kilgowan Night of Stars 575. Sent to traps a red-hot favourite, on the back of his runner up spot in the Leger at Limerick last week, the youngster was sensational here. Taking control in the early strides, Len Ponder and Austin Whelan’s son of Good News and Coolavanny Kelly, quickly opened up a commanding advantage along the far side before cruising home a comfortable winner over the always second Grondo King by seven lengths in 30.66, just one spot off the track record.
The Larry O’Rourke owned Murts Boher won the fifth race, the Vetsearch Making Champions 525, with a foot perfect, front running performance. Flying from the 3 box, he showed great early pace, edging in slightly, to grab the lead into the opening bend. Out the second turn he continued his quest for glory, stretching his lead from the chasing Catunda Logan. On the bunny, out in front, Murts Boher is a top class tracker and he maintained a powerful gallop all the way to the finish to run out a comfortable two and a half length scorer in a brilliantly fast 28.07.
Lenson Bocko landed the Boylesports Night of Stars 550 with another foot perfect display, in doing so, becomes only the second ever dog to do the Irish Derby and NoS double, Laughill Blake being the other.
Despite not being in competitive action since his Derby success in September he was sent off a warm favourite. Bolting from trap six, it was clear to see the layoff had not hampered him as he scorched to the front within strides. Comfortably leading Sophies Man and Deadly Dynamite into the turns, he and kept them at arm’s length throughout. He stretched out majestically to continue his exceptional run of form and claim a twelfth victory from just fourteen career starts for owners Lochead, Ponder, Whelan Syndicate. He crossed the line four lengths in front of the classy Sophies Man in 29.48.