There was a bumper crowd in Kilkenny on Friday night with plenty of good racing on show. Once again Kilkenny showed why it attracts punters with a very strong betting market.
The mainstay of the night, the second round heats of the Frightful Flash Kennels A1 Stake, saw a star turn from Gerry Meaney’s Kilara Hey Mac.
The fastest winner of the opening round was sent off a long odds-on favourite and he did not disappoint.
Quickly into stride, Kilara Hey Mac led the wide running Ballybough Oz into the first bend. The son of Ullid Conor and Kilara Gypsy kicked three lengths clear of Raggletaggle Rex into the second turn and maintained that lead into the third.
Expert Jess flew home but the Paul Hennessy trained Kilara Hey Mac was home by four lengths in a very smart 29.13.
The other second round winners were Master Gorryisle, Karlow Master and Black Tom.
Patience proved the key for victory in the A7 opener as Glenbane Rose landed the odds. The three and a half year old, in her first race since February 2013, showed in front early and never missed a beat. Tarmac Lady gave chase throughout the contest but never troubled the impressive Glenbane Lady, who scored by nine lengths in 29.30.
The early pace in the opening heat of the Springhill Court tel A3 525 Stake came from Random Robbie. The pace-setter was in front around the first bend and moved three lengths in advance of Piercestown Home at the second turn.
Cilldubh Canning showed the pace of the race to move up and challenge the leader into the third. Forced to check, Cilldubh Canning came again up the home straight and crossed the line in company with the leader, but Random Robbie got the nod by a short head in 30.06.
Ascot Buddy was the clear cut winner of the second heat. The 2/1 favourite blasted his way to the lead around the first and when there was trouble behind, there were no more dangers to Ascot Buddy. Eight lengths clear turning for home, Ascot Buddy finished the contest seven lengths clear of Leahs Ballymac in 29.48.
The third heat saw huge bets laid on Hanoi and Daylens Bullet, the former just shading favouritism. The race was level early before Tinahue Pinto got the bend on the rails. The leader moved two lengths clear into the second as San Miguel pursued.
Tinahue Pinto ran the back stretch well to increase his lead to three lengths into the third turn. Polinia ran on to claim second spot but there was no catching the Tinahue Pinto, who won by two and a half lengths in 29.43.
Despite drifting in the market, the Brian Ellard-trained Doubtful Venture proved the pick of the fourth heat. A length in front at the second bend, Doubtful Venture doubled his lead into the third. My Love Alsation chased Doubtful Venture home but had to settle for second spot, three and a half lengths in arrears of the winner, who stopped the clock in 29.29.
The opening second round heat of the Frightful Flash Kennels McCalmont Cup was level early doors but that changed when Black Tom slipped clear on. Roo Ace threw down the challenge, but could not get by on the run home as the Declan Byrne-trained Black Tom won by a length in 29.23.
Whist A Mhic showed the best pace up to the bend and led around the first two turns of the second heat, Davy Of Ozz and Master Gorryisle were on the premises going down the back stretch, Davy Of Ozz challenging the long-time leader into the third.
The front pair tangled around the second last and this handed the race to Master Gorryisle. The Declan Byrne trained Master Gorryisle took full advantage, although the fast finishing Triangle Shiraz almost denied him. Master Gorryisle held on by a half a length in 29.56.
There was a surprise early leader in the third heat as Luminous Rock took a flyer. Unfortunately, he was just unable to get around the bend, and this caused traffic problems.
Ballybough Mike and Karlow Master came out of the bother best and the pair were level at the second. It was nip and tuck for much of the contest but in the latter stages Karlow Master took control to win by two lengths from the running on Shaneboy Frankie in 29.45.