Racing at St James Park on Friday night featured the start of the Goldies Oldies a3/a4 stake, sponsored by Joe Daly and Danny McEvoy. The 30 dogs lined up in five eagerly awaited heats, with their owners eyeing the 1,400 euro first prize.
The performance of the night came came in the fourth heat as Emers Boy dominated. The evens favourite went early with Heavens Comet and the front two in the market had it between them. Emers Boy got the bend though and never looked back.
The son of Duke Special and Glengall Beauty poured it on down the back straight and was three lengths clear of Heavens Comet at the third. John J. Dunne’s Emers Boy galloped on to win by six lengths in a very smart 29.10.
Burnbondholders ran on to claim second spot. In this sort of form Emers Boy will take a lot of stopping.
The opening heat of the stake began with Farran Vidic getting the better of Ullid Doodle into the first bend. Farran Vidic got the bend and led by two lengths out of the second bend. There was no change racing to the third.
Ullid Doodle tried to close the gap but made no impression as the Paul Hennessy trained Farran Vidic (Droopys Vieri-Farran Tina) obliged by a length and a half in 29.32.
Better between bends
The second heat was level early on before Dublinhill Hawk and Stuck For Cash went on into the bend. Dublinhill Hawk was better between the bends and opened up a two length lead. Down the back stretch, it was Galley Droopy who showed the pace and he shot into the picture.
Galley Droopy joined Dublinhill Hawk out of the third and then burned off his rival. Ballycaum Lass stayed on into second but John Norris’s Galley Droopy (Droopys Scolari-Express Vintage) was home and hosed by three lengths in 29.48.
Barro Babe was the star turn in the third heat. Fennis Owen showed first and led up. However, he allowed Brow Mountain up his inner at the bend and Brow Mountain moved two lengths clear of Barro Babe into the second.
Barro Babe joined Brow Mountain at the third bend and then powered away. The daughter of Westmead Joe and Lorraines Black stormed home to win by four lengths from Uppergrange Tipy in a time 29.25.
Lemon Maeve dominated the fifth heat as she booked her quarter-final spot. Lemon Maeve battled it out early on with Kilbally Star, with the former showing the better pace to the first. Lemon Maeve was three lengths to the good at the second and added another length to that lead racing to the third.
Denis Lennon’s Lemon Maeve (Ballymac Maeve-Lemon Blossom) looked to tire a little coming home but had enough done to defeat Kilbally Star by three lengths in 29.23.
The opening race on the card was an a5 run. The race was messy early before Ballygur Dubh led up from trap two. Ballygur Dubh moved two lengths clear into the second with Bourbon Lass in pursuit.
There was still two lengths in it at the third, but Ballygur Dubh was about to start to struggle. Bourbon Lass had no such problems and she picked off Ballygur Dubh on the run home. The winning distance for the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Easily Led was a half a length in 29.73.
The favourite Dixies Special (Hondo Black-Dixies Joy) made every yard of the running to land the spoils in the second a5 race. The wide runner led up from trap six and was three lengths clear of Chesters Mate out of the second.
The lead was up to four lengths by the third but Chesters Mate had no more to give. Dixies Special does not quite get the full trip but he had enough of a lead to hold off the running on Condor Star by three lengths in 29.69.
The a3/a4 race saw Rock Crest and Thorn Brae Brett go up well to the corner. The pair were level at the second but approaching the third Rock Crest took it up. Thorn Brae Brett, the regular sprinter had no more to give and the fancied Rock Crest was able to pull away for the win.
The strapping 81lb son of Droopys Scholes and Holiday Island stayed away to win by five lengths from Cashmans Cat in 29.26.
Dublinhill Boy led up from trap four in the finale and got the bend ahead of the pack. Dublinhill Boy pulled three lengths clear of Frontier Sound into the second, but by the third there was little over a length in it. On the run home Frontier Sound wore down Dublinhill Boy as Emmas Assurance finished with a flourish.
In a tight call, the verdict went to Frontier Sound (Droopys Kewell-Frontier Music) by head over Emmas Assurance in 29.37.