Friday night’s racing saw a good crowd in attendance for a benefit night in aid of St Lachtain’s (Freshford) GAA club.
The bulk of the card was made up of the first round heats of the Langton House Hotel Derby, which was won last year by Northern raider Burst Of Magic.
It proved to be a good night for Laois trainer Karol Ramsbottom and his connections as they sent out two winners, including the fastest winner of the night in Garryglass Ros (Hades Rocket-Garryglass Jess).
The in-form Ros took the second heat by five lengths in 29.03. The winner started smartly and went up in front of Locnamon Angel. Garryglass Ros kicked into the second bend and doubled her lead to two lengths over the chasing pack into the third, running on to finish an impressive winner.
Elsewhere in the stake, Garryglass Marco completed a double for trainer Karol Ramsbottom with a fine 29.09 spin. Raheen Boy and Terminal Two, dogs with good local knowledge showed that they are in good form also as won in 29.07 and 29.10 respectively. With the first four qualifying there are still plenty of dogs in contention for the €4,000 first prize.
Ascot Donal led up in the A4 525 and continued to set the early pace as he showed the way around the first two bends. Five lengths up on Condor Amy passing the halfway, Ascot Dan’s lead was whittled down as the race progressed. Condor Amy barged to the front at the last and ran on to defeat Fahy Hi by a length in 29.51.
The final of the Bridie’s Bar and General A3 Stake saw Old Road Cody and Blackstone Hawk lead up on the outer as those on the inner were impeded. Old Road Cody drove on, turning down the back stretch in front but Patrick Sinnott’s Blackstone Hawk took over into the third and raced away to win by three and a half lengths in 29.28.
Royal Oak Sammy trapped fast in the opening heat of the Langton House Hotel Derby A1 Stake and led the pack to the bend. Two lengths up on Odyssey at the second bend, Royal Oak Sammy maintained that lead to the third. Try as he might, Odyssey could never get to Brian Ellard’s Royal Oak Sammy, who obliged by two and a half lengths in 29.27.
Garryglass Marco, a litter comrade of Garryglass Ros, recorded his first win since February when taking the spoils in the third heat. From a level start Garryglass Marco led around the opening turn, building up a two-length lead over Ringtown Ned and Raggletaggle Ron into the third bend. Ringtown Ned won the battle for second, but Garryglass Marco saw it out by two lengths in 29.09.
Terminal Two showed a nice touch of early pace to lead up in the fourth heat. Running the bends smartly Terminal Two was able to ease three lengths clear of Mr Hooch. Ray Harney’s Terminal Two increased his lead to five lengths at the third before eventually running out a three and a half length winner in 29.07.
Raheen Boy, the winner of the fifth heat, was last into stride and last going to the bend. However, a little bit of bumping on his inner and a lot of pace saw Raheen Boy go from last to first between the bends.
From there Patrick and Paul Cushen’s charge never missed a beat. Holding off the favourite Kellymount Gem, Raheen Boy won by three and a half lengths in 29.10.
The sixth heat saw Fiancee Alsation, Flomur Antics and Glengall Girl go to the first together. Glengall Girl went on along the rails but Fiancee Alsation shaded it into the third and then raced away when his rival was impeded. Fiancee Alsation won by three and a half lengths from Millies Tavern in 29.14.
Richard Dempsey’s Trapper Dempsey dominated the Droopys Stud a4 Stake final with a trap to line performance. The 9/4 chance popped out of trap two and led Pinedale Persie all the way round. The challenger never got close enough to strike as Trapper Dempsey claimed the €1,150 first prize by three lengths in 29.21.