A bumper crowd in Kilkenny on Friday produced a great atmosphere for the final of the Red Mills Champion Juvenile Stake. Trainer Paul Hennessy held a strong hand with Kilara Hey Mac and Jaytee Valencia at the head of the market.
The favourites flipped flopped with Kilara Hey Mac sent on as jolly because of his dream draw on the rails. The run to the bend looked to be crucial and so it proved to be.
From a level start, Kilara Hey Mac led up on the paintwork and got the bend ahead of Jaytee Valencia. Railing well, Kilara Hey Mac skipped three lengths clear into the back stretch. Jaytee Valencia shaved a length off into the third but Kilara Hey Mac had too much left in the tank.
Gerry Meaney’s son of Ullid Conor and Kilara Gypsy raced away to take the prestigious first prize and cheque for €5,000 by three lengths in 28.87. Jaytee Valencia completed a one-two for trainer Hennessy while Karlow Master ran on strongly for third.
Bishops Wood was again a well backed favourite for the opener. The jolly trapped better than recently and was able to get the bend with little early on his inner. Bishops Wood built up a five length lead over Jumbo Steps out of the second and maintained that lead until near the last.
Up the home straight Bishops Wood began to struggle and Jumbos Steps was able to reel him in for a neck victory in 29.59.
In a race packed with early dash, Kells Rebel showed best to lead around the first where he cut off a number of rivals. The leader turned down the back three lengths clear of feed Me Scampi but saw his lead reduced to a length into the third.
With the front pair tying up, the field closed up. None of the six are known for their finishing prowess, so it was a tired looking end to the race. As the line approached, it was the Murt Leahy trained Lemon Miley who found the greatest reserves to see off Say Si Si by a neck in 29.66.
In the McCarthy Bros Builders Open Unraced novice final Minglers Trio started fast but it was Deenside Wood who showed the best early up. Deenside Wood ran completely off the bend and impeded others.
Uncle George was left two lengths clear of Minglers Trio at the second bend. The favourite Minglers Trio closed up down into the third and looked to have edged in front until he stumble.
This allowed the slow starting Dublinhill Boy to sweep through and claim the victory in 29.73, with Lough Shawnee second.
In race 4, a3/a4 525, Bellmore Shelly and La Rue Blue started well and looked set to go to the first together. However, Bellmore Shelly was much sweeter around the first and skipped three lengths clear of Kilara Merc around the second bend.
The well supported Kilara Merc was within a length at the third before breezing by on the run home. Rushmoor Grace stayed on into second but there was no catching the Paul Hennessy trained Kilara Merc. The winner obliged in 29.40.
In the Morrissey Stakes and James Tynan memorial semi-final, Tubrid Beauty started well and led to the first. Blue For Gold went up the inner at the bend and the pair were level into the second.
There was little change into the third. Tri Borough burst through to defeat Tearway La by a length in 29.70.
In the second semi Shaws Blaze bounced back to winning ways. Aided by a better draw, Shaws Blaze popped out of trap 2 and led around the first. There was bother behind as Shaws Blaze slipped four lengths clear of Old Road Henry into the second.
The lead was up to seven lengths and there was no stopping Shaws Blaze. The trap to line winner scored in 29.46.
Out In Court and Olympic Queen were both quickly into stride but it was the former who showed the better dash to lead around the first. After some scrimmaging behind Out In Court was able to slip eight lengths clear of Pookies Plan.
The lead was still at seven lengths by the third and Out In Court looked in control. When Pookies Plan was impeded the race was definitely over and Liam Hayes trained Out In Court was left an easy winner in 29.10.