There was a most enjoyable atmosphere at Kilkenny track on Friday night when a nine race card was down for decision.
There were a number of semi-finals as well as graded races. The performance of the night came from the Murt Leahy trained Ballybough Oz in the a1 finale, the second leg of a double for the local trainer.
The well backed favourite started well and plotted his usual wide course up and around the first bend. The son of Makeshift and High St Miley was four lengths clear of Aoifes Prinskie at the second bend before increasing the advantage to six by the third.
Aoifes Prinskie could give no more as Luminous Rock charged home. It wasn’t enough though as Pat Carroll’s Ballybough Oz won in 29.28, the fastest time of the night.
In the opening race Old Road Cody started best and led High St Nicky to the bend. The pace setter was a length clear at the second but was powerless to stop Triangle Jamie breezing by into the third.
Triangle Jamie kicked for home but Mt Leinster Jack finished the race that bit stronger to nab him on the line. Mt Leinster Jack got up by a short head in 29.50.
The early pace in the second race came from Leitrim Lad in the a3 contest. He led up and around the opening two bends. The leader held a two length lead over Deenside Wood at the start of the back stretch and maintained that to the third.
Niamhs Lola ran on well from off the pace but it was too little too late as Leitrim Lad won in 29.85.
In the Kingsmill Messi and Moveit Jamie semi-final there was massive money for Raggletaggle Rex before the off. He missed the kick and never threatened.
Altesse Manziel started much better and led up from trap 1. Showing big early dash, Altesse Manziel stormed five lengths clear.
The lead was up to seven lengths by the third bend as Hi Trend Hector and Lemon Fabia gave chase. Altesse Manziel looked to have it in the bag, but tied up close to home as Lemon Fabia finished with a flourish. Lemon Fabia got up on the line to win by a short head in 29.38.
The second semi was a messy affair. The reserve Maggienail showed first but was swallowed at the bend. Feed Me Mangos went forward out of the turn and was a length up on Cill Dubh Mint and Droopys Cody at the second.
The trio were close up into the third turn and the race remained wide open. The field closed up on the race home, with the favourite Droopys Cody, trained by Murt Leahy, defeating Feed Me Mangos by a head in 30.07.
The 550 contest was level early and into the first bend. Raheen Rondo went up on the outer and held a two length lead over Deenside Hero at the second.
Raheen Rondo continued to hold that advantage into the third turn but there was still a long way to go. Deenside Hero loves the long run home and he picked off Raheen Rondo to score in 30.65.
In the Springhill Court Hotel 525 semi-final, Ontherun Mitzy and Old Road Ken had a terrific battle. The pair were together from the time the traps went up and it was nip and tuck all the way to the third bend where Ontherun Mitzy was shading it by a half a length.
Old Road Ken came back for more and the pair flashed across the line together. It looked like Ontherun Mitzy had just held on but the verdict went to Old Road Ken by a short head in 29.61.
In the second semi there was a real battle for early supremacy as Fiancee Alsation, Kells Rebel and Dysert Ranger all tried to set the early fractions. The trio were still together going down the far side before Dysert Ranger edged ahead of Fiancee Alsation.
The challenger could not close the gap in the latter stages as the Maria Byrne trained Dysert Ranger booked his place in the final by a length in 29.56.
In race eight Kilbally Tom and Garryglass Sheba started well as the former tried to push inwards from trap 6. Garryglass Sheba got the bend on the inner and shot three lengths clear of Tuff Dubh at the second bend.
The lead was up to six lengths by the third as Garryglass Sheba took control. Karlow Mate finished strongly but the Karol Ramsbottom trained Garryglass Sheba scored in 29.51.