On Friday the Red Mills juvenile Open 525 stake got underway and there was a good crowd attended. This year’s renewal has a lot to live up to after the brilliant line up in last year’s final, a field that included Derby winner Skywalker Puma.
On first impressions, few dogs stood out to that level but it is early days yet. The best performance came from Maria Kennedy’s Pippy in the opening heat. The winner showed early in company with Dannys Zebo with the latter taking it up out of the first.
Dannys Zebo was a length and a half up out of the second but Pippy (Shaneboy Lee-Fahrenheit Belle) blazed a trail to draw level before powering away to an emphatic seven length success in 29.03. The favourite Skywalker Apollo came through for second spot. This was all about Pippy.
The second heat saw Skywalker Jet put as evens favourite and he was up with the pace early on. Black Foot was the pace setter around the opening two turns, but Skywalker Jet powered by showing the pace of the race down the far side. The son of Skywalker Ace and Dalcash Divinsky galloped on and held off the late challenge from Crompaun Jamesy in 29.28 for owner Ray Patterson and trainer Frances O’Donnell.
Priceless Bolt was all the rage for local punters in the third heat. The favourite was fast away but it was Tasmanic Jaxx who showed the best pace. Tasmanic Jaxx was a length clear of Priceless Bolt and Ballydaniel Sean at the second bend.
Tasmanic Jaxx maintained that lead into the third as Priceless Bolt continued to challenge. Tasmanic Jaxx missed a stride and lost momentum between the last two bends. This gave Priceless Bolt the chance he needed.
The Paul Hennessy trained Priceless Bolt (Barefoot Bolt-Barefoot Contessa) powered by to win by three and a half lengths in 29.33.
The fourth heat saw Lough Messi, the recent Red Mills Champion Unraced Stake take plenty of support at what looked like generous odds of 2/1. However, it was the bookmakers who knew best as Lough Messi started slowly and never looked like winning.
Kenwood Impack led and was two lengths clear of Fire N Fury at the second bend. Fire N Fury closed up. It was nip and tuck between the front two all the way to the line with the Bridie Moore trained Fire N Fury getting up to win by a neck in 29.25.
The fifth heat saw Sidarian Blue make it four wins from five. Rains Philo popped out but he failed to take the bend and wiped out everything bar Varra Jenny and Sidarian Blue. Varra Jenny was a length up at the second but there was nothing in.
The pair battled on while Yeah Giovanni flew home. In a close finish, Sidarian Blue (Ace Hi Rumble-Yahoo Stacey) trained by Graham Holland defeated Yeah Giovanni by a short head in 29.32.
Ruby Rouge led up in the sixth and final heat but was not great on the bend and then shipped a bump from Arrigle Cody. Whatsasetup slipped through on the inner at the bend and suddenly opened up a five length lead.
Pre Tax Profits went second but trailed by seven lengths at the third. The challenger started on strongly as Whatasetup faded. In the end, Whatasetup(Black Shaw-Go Maeve) held on by a length in 29.33.
Track Bar a5 final
The a5 final went the way of the Paul Hennessy trained favourite De Exception (Hometown Boy Nga-Tyrur Maryann). The winner was away well and led Newlands Piper around the first turn.
De Exception opened up down the back straight and powered five lengths into the third bend. Itellyagirl ran on to claim second and though she got within a length and a half, Itellyagirl never looked like getting to De Exception, a dog in form. The winning time was 29.38.