It was bitterly cold in Kilkenny on Friday night but that did not stop things heating up at the St James Park track where three finals were down for decision.
In the FBD Insurance a1/a2 525 final, Karlow Scolar came in as a reserve and he made the most of the chance. Dutch Dream led up on the outer but he was soon joined by Karlow Scolar.
Karlow Scolar powered down the far side to move two lengths clear of Dutch Dream and the improving Sober Escape.
Sober Escape tried to reel in Karlow Scolar but the Kelly Finlay trained son of Droopys Scolari and China Doll was not for catching. Karlow Scolar, owned by J.M. Proctor and Darryl Bear deservedly took the €750 first prize by two lengths in a superb 29.05.
The other finals were won by Bull Run Bullet in 29.73 and Triangle Tady in 29.36.
Race 1 a5 525
He may be rapidly approaching his fifth birthday but Ballygur Henry remains in fine fettle, winning the opener by four lengths in 29.74.
There was money for Gortkelly Eve before the off, but she was bumped at traps as Angel Holly cut in.
Given all the room in the world, Ballygur Henry led up on the outer and established a four length lead over Eastend Millie out of the second bend. The lead was up to five lengths into the third and though Milie tried hard, she could get no closer than four length as Ballygur Henry gained his seventh career victory.
Race 2 a3 Novice 725
Goldmine Larky made the step up in trip in style to win the novice staying contest.
The winner was well away in company with Tanami Sand. Goldmine Larky went on into the third bend and held a length lead.
The lead was up to two lengths rounding the fourth bend as Goldmine Larky took charge. The long-time leader ran her rivals ragged over the remainder of the trip, coming home seven lengths to the good in a decent 41.22 with Tanami Sand back in second.
The first final of the night was the a4 final. Bull Run Bullet was sent off favourite, but he did not have things all his own way.
The race was level early before Autumn Desire asserted into the bend. Bull Run bullet ran off the bend and only a hefty bump put him back on course.
Autumn Desire moved three lengths clear of Bull Run Bullet at the second but saw that lead evaporate into the third.
Out of the second last Bull Run Bullet went by on the outer. Autumn Desire battled back but it was not enough as Bull Run Bullet took victory by a length in 29.73.
Bing Armada was the trap to line winner of the fourth race.
After getting the bend ahead of Garryglass Lee, Bing Armada went on to hold a three length lead over Ballygur Santa at the second turn. The lead was still three lengths into the third.
Ballygur Santa is not the biggest of finishers, but he bravely tried to reel in the long time leader. Bing Armada, trained by David Morris, just held on by a neck in 30.06.
In The Track Supporters Club a3 525 final, the second showdown of the night, Triangle Tady and Mydras Vic started best.
They went to the bend together as Karlow Leader struggled on the run up. Triangle Tady went on to hold a length lead at the second and continued to hold Mydras Vic at bay down the far side.
Mydras Vic kept on battling but just could not get by the gutsy Triangle Tady. Tady took the €750 first prize by a half a length in 29.36.
Silva Hill made every yard of the running to land the seventh race. After showing lovely early dash on the rails he kicked three lengths into the second as Coogans Lane gave chase.
There was no change into the third turn but in the latter stages Coogans Lane began to edge closer. As the line approached, Silva Hill dug deep to hold on by a half a length in 29.59.
Trumera Wood and Fennis Brae began well and battled it out up and around the opening turn in race eight.
There was a bit of bumping between the pair before Feenis Brae went on down the back stretch. Fennis Brae was two lengths clear of Bull Run Kite around the third while Obama Country was improving in behind.
There was a three way go up the home straight with Fennis Brae, Obama Country and Bull Run Kite flashing across the line together.
The victory went to the Karol Ramsbottom trained Obama Country, a neck in front of Fennis Brae in 29.65.
After a level beginning in race nine, it was Tentothedozen who led up from trap 5.
The leader railed well and held a length lead over Compression Suit at the second bend. Tentothedozen was unable to shake off his rival down the far side and this left him vulnerable on the run home.
Compression Suit slipped up the inner at the last bend on his way to a two length victory in 29.49.
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