THERE was only one night of racing in Kilkenny this week, with action bringing the crowd to James’s Park on Friday night.
The bulk of the card was made up of the first round heats of the James Tynan Memorial A3 Stake but there were also two interesting semi-finals of the Benefit Nights A5 Stake to be decided.
The first semi-final saw the Joe Tobin-trained Rathorpe Boss (Hometown Boy Nga-Rathorpe Baby) impress for the second week in a row.
Rathorpe Boss went up well from trap one and got the bend on the inner of Locnamon Millie. Rathorpe Boss, the 5/4 favourite, kicked two lengths clear into the second but saw that lead reduced to a length by Locnamon Millie into the third. Rathorpe Boss was not for passing though, staying away to win by a length and a half in 29.26.
The second semi-final was level early doors with plenty of jostling for position. Into the first Mulcair Raven (Head Bound-Hondo On Air) stole into the lead on the rails, an advantage she would not relinquish.
More bumping behind the leader at the first saw Mulcair Raven shoot seven lengths clear of Bricken Ollie into the second, a lead that she would maintain until the third bend. Bricken Ollie finished well to reduce the gap, but there was no catching Mulcair Raven who won by four and a half lengths in 29.47.
Kilbally Star (Duke Special-Hipower Bernie) was the winner of the first heat of the James Tynan Memorial A3 Stake. The winner was away well but was made work for the lead by Inkerman around the first two bends. Kilbally Star burned off Inkerman into the third but then had Hickstead on her case. Kilbally Star saw off that challenge too as she triumphed by three lengths in 29.42.
Ballybough Pa, trained by Martin Leahy for Pat Carroll, was the clearcut winner of the second heat. The early paced sort was clear into the first and saw his cause aided by a melee at the bend. The bother left Ballybough Pa a distance clear down the far side and though Trinity Holly ran on to close within nine lengths, there was only ever going to be one winner.
The third heat saw the lead disputed on the outer by Oldroad Tiny and Drumglower Major. The duo went on together from the first bend, with Drumglower Major just shading it on the rails.
Oldroad Tiny ran the back stretch the better of the two and moved a length clear into the third. Drumglower Major tried to get back on terms but Oldroad Tiny (Express Ego-Oldroad Penny) found more to win by two lengths in 29.69.
Flomur Ruby popped out of trap two in the fourth heat but was caught for early pace by Significant Bet on the run to the first. Significant Bet led by five lengths out of the second and continued to lead to the last.
By the last it was clear that Significant Bet was fading fast. Fleeting Mist finished well to pick off the leader and Bricken Maley finished strongly too to come into the frame. However, first run saw Fleeting Mist (Royal Impact-Archaton Queen) home by three lengths in 29.57.
The fastest time of the night was posted by the Paul Hennessy-trained Priceless Pilot in the fifth heat. The winner was back in the field as Knockdrinna Duke led out of the second bend, but showed massive pace as he cut through his rivals.
Using plenty of track craft, Pilot carved out the lead at the third bend and galloped away to win by seven lengths in 29.07. The son of Late Late Show and Kilara Gypsy looks to have huge pace, but will need to sharpen up on the run to the first bend to fulfil his potential.
The sixth and final heat was won by Ask The Time (Head Bound-In Good Hands). After a level start, Ask The Time got the bend on the inside and by two lengths at the second bend. Gortkelly Rooney and Destiny Calling both chased the leader hard all the way to the line. However, neither could quite bridge the gap to Ask The Time, who held on to win by a length in 29.60.
Bawnfune Bound was the trap to the line winner of the only graded race of the night. Running from trap five, Bawnfune Bound gallop powerfully to the bend and kicked further clear between the bends.
Three lengths to the good going down the far side, Bawnfune Bound continued to lead Kerry St Boy to the third bend. Kerry St Boy came home well, closing up on the tiring leader, but Bawnfune Boy (Head Bound-Slip Road) held on by a half a length in 29.48.