Once again the crowds turned out at Kilkenny track to support the BEAM benefit night. The 11 race card was littered with high quality finals and top class Open races.
The centrepiece was the Red Mills Open Cup, which carried a prize of €1,000 for the one off race. In an open betting heat, Skyview Blue was sent off 2/1 favourite. The jolly was up there early doors with Lemon Miley. Lemon Miley got the bend and quickly took three lengths out of his rival.
Lemon Miley maintained that advantage into the third bend but Skyview Blue was not finished. Skyview Blue came home strongly but Lemon Miley is a dog in the form of his life and he held on to win by a length. Trained by Murt Leahy for Pat Scully, the son of Droopys Scolari and Lemon Belle won in 28.90.
Hoi Ann completed a double for trainer Murt Leahy in the Open 725, while trainer Paul Hennessy also doubled up thanks to Kilara Thunder and Kilara Merc. Declan Byrne set out first and second in the novice final.
In race 1 Kilcarrig Quarries Open 300 final the market was in favour of Kilmoney Nipper and Blue For Gold and they battled out the contest. The former flew out of traps and led by a length into the first bend. Kilmoney Nipper came wide off the last allowing Blue for Gold to challenge.
In a tight finish, Kilmoney Nipper, trained by Jerry O’Sullivan, held on by a short head in 16.46.
In race 2, the McDonnell Clan/Ann McDonnell memorial a7 final, the hotpot, Kilara Thunder obliged. Trained by Paul Hennessy, the 4/6 favourite got the better of Deejays Lad into the first and dominated. My Boss tried to make a race of it but hadn’t the power. Kilara Thunder won by seven lengths in 29.23.
In race 3, the Kilkenny Limestone Quarry a3 final, Knockroe Lad and Minglers Trio started well with Knockroe Lad getting the bend first. There was a length in it at the second turn. Knockroe Lad was still in front around the third.
The well backed favourite Deanridge Banker flew home and looked like getting there but in the end had to settle for third as the gutsy Knockroe Lad held off Minglers Trio by a half a length in 29.28.
Free boundaries ran under new ownership in the novice 725 final. It proved to a successful debut for new owner, John O’Flynn. Bennymore Benny showed first but it was a short lived lead. Kilara Lightning was soon in front.
Free Boundaries improved into third racing down the far side for the second time but still had to get past Kilara Lightning and Bennymore Benny. Free Boundaries closed up to share the lead into the last where he and Kilara Lightning tangled. Free Boundaries recovered to get up and win in 40.99.
Baytown Engel was sent to traps as favourite for the a5 final but there was plenty of support for High St Nicky. High St Nicky stumbled at traps giving Baytown Engel a dream run. After showing early dash Baytown Engel led Deejays Lass by two lengths at the second bend.
Down the far side Baytown Engel powered clear. The result was never in doubt. Baytown Engel, who appears suited to the Kilkenny track, raced away to win in 29.01, with Young and Gifted second.
In the Black and Amber Kennels a3 525 final, Mister Bates was fast away and led Old Road Cody around the first bend. The eventual winner, Kilara Merc was last. Mister Bates maintained a length lead down the back stretch, as Kilara Merc improved.
The Paul Hennessy trained Kilara Merc came home with a real rattle and got up to deny Mister Bates by a short head in 29.27.
In the Dobbs Oil novice 525 final, the 2/5 favourite Master Gorryisle started fast in company with Random Ace as Rattling Along struggling. Master Gorryisle was clipped at the first bend, with both he and Random Ace losing momentum before going on.
Master Gorryisle led by a length at the second, but it was all change into the third as Rattling Along showed real pace to burst by. Rattling Along powered clear to defeat Master Gorryisle by four lengths in 29.34, completing a 1-2 for trained Declan Byrne, albeit in a different order than most expected.