There was a bumper crowd at racing at Kilkenny on Friday night when Ballinkillen Lorum Community held a benefit meeting. On the track, there were two big finals and both saw Paul Hennessy improve his charges to land the spoils.
The Kilgraney Kennels a4 525 final carried a winner’s prize of €1,600. Pookies Plan went on favourite but in truth it was an open final. The race was level early doors before Lemon Miley and Pookies Plan went to the front. Lemon Miley was on the inner and got the run of the race.
There was length in it at the second, but into the third Pookies Plan challenged. Lemon Miley kept the door closed. While the front pair were battling it out, Olympic Money crept into contention.
Tony and Lorraine Howard’s Olympic Money (Barefoot Bolt-Olympic Show) powered between Pookies Plan and Lemon Miley and got up to win by a length in 29.21.
Kilara Donna started best in the opener but it was Canvas Torres who led up on the outer. There was some bumping at the bend as Pure Palomar moved into second. Canvas Torres was a length up turning down the far side and maintained that advantage into the third.
There were no real challengers from there on and Canvas Torres won in 29.99.
The favourite Garryglass Ros set the early fractions in the 725, but had Cormac the Flyer for company. There was a length in it by the third bend but soon after the pair were joined by Olivia Jane. Garryglass Ros was the first to crack as Olivia Jane and Cormac The Flyer turned for home.
On the run in, Olivia Jane, trained by Tony Byrne, stayed on to win in 41.06.
Mr Mick started well in the next race and led the into the first. Showing plenty of dash, Mr Mick was three lengths clear into the second, a lead he increased to four lengths. The long time leader soon began to struggle. Karlow Master closed up and then hit the front. Clomantagh Petal charged home but Karlow Master held on by a short head in 29.54.
Arrigle Hi got back to winning ways in the fourth race. Arrigle Hi led up and avoided the bother at the first. Condor Amy made a race of it but Arriggle Hi saw her off in 29.54. Kilbally Tom ran on to finish third.
The second staying contest (725) saw Paradise Garcia take up the running into the first bend. Garcia stormed six lengths clear of Bricken Maley into the third and looked in control. There was no change down the back stretch. Miss Gold Bars was beginning to wind up. She finished with a rattle and won from Paradise Garcia in 40.81.
From a level start, Shaws Blaze led up from trap 1 next. Garryglass Ros followed around the first but the favourite was in trouble as he likes to dominate. Shaws Blaze continued to shade it into the third as Kilara Hey Mac tracked the front pair. Garryglass Ros hit the front off the third as Shaws Blaze was impeded.
Gerry Meaney’s Kilara Hey Mac picked off Garryglass Ros and galloped on to complete a big race double for trainer Paul Hennessy. Kilara Hey Mac stopped the clock in 29.21.
Age proved no barrier to the brilliant veteran Mt Leinster Link in the Carlow Kilkenny Derby 525. The old timer led his rivals a merry dance from traps and was three lengths clear of Barefoot Arthur down the back stretch. Barefoot Arthur pressured Mt Leinster Link coming home but he raced home in 29.30.
Dysert Oisin started well in the ninth race (525) but was joined on the inner by Atopgear into the first bend. The pair were level into the second. Atopgear was a length up into the third. Dysert Oisin came again but Atopgear held on for a 29.20 win, the fastest time of the night.
The finale was a high quality a1/a2 race. Dannys Zebo took a flyer and led the field into the first bend. There was a little bother behind Dannys Zebo and he eased two lengths clear of Ballinattin Ash at the second bend.
The lead was down to a length at the third as the field closed up. The brave Dannys Zebo continued to lead. He was unable to resist Raheen Boy who got up to snatch the win by a short head in 29.40.