Friday night saw another bumper crowd in attendance at the St James Park track in Kilkenny.
There was a real buzz off the track amongst the race goers and also on the track as the T.P. Weadick Open 725 stake got underway.
The 18 runner contest attracted some of the top stayers around and provided some thrilling entertainment. The star turn was Maurice Heffernan’s Elusive Heights.
The son of Head Bound and Sillott Mo has been keeping top company over 600 yards recently, but he relished the step back up to the extended trip as he got his second career victory. The winner popped out from trap 1 and was soon in front.
From there Elusive Heights ran his rivals ragged. Building up a seven length lead early doors, Elusive Heights was chased by Kiltrea Brian but the track record holder could not lay a glove on the trap to line winner.
The sizzling Elusive Heights ran out an impressive winner, six lengths clear in an impressive 40.52.
The other first round heat were won by Brownshill Ace and Sir Jim. The a4 final went the way of Totos Gift.
The night began with victory for Foulkscourt Rush. The winner started smartly and went to the bend in company with Goldmine Scarlet.
Foulkscourt Rush went on to lead a length at the second bend before storming four lengths clear into the third. Ballintemple Ace ran on well in the latter stages but Foulkscourt Rush was home for a first career win by two and a half lengths in 29.39.
Ballydaniel Kats made all the running in the second race. After getting the bend from trap 5, Balllydaniel Kats moved two lengths clear of Bakerslane Blues into the back stretch.
Ballydaniel Kats maintained her advantage into the third before kicking for home off the second last. Battstreet Chick came through for second spot, but Ballydaniel Kats was clear by five lengths in 29.52.
Galmonian Richie and Fennis Brae battled for the early supremacy in the a4 race. There was a little in it rounding the second bend but down the far side it was all change as An Cailin Alainn charged into the leader.
An Cailin Alainn powered away to win by four and a half lengths in 29.33, with Fennis Brae back in second.
The victory for An Cailin Alainn was her second in two starts as she continues in excellent form.
Tarsna Rose and Artistic Pete began well and went to the first together in the next contest. The former went on to hold a length lead at the second, a lead that remained intact into the third.
Artistic Pete switched inside to pass Tarnsa Rose rounding the third turn. Artistic Pete went on to see off Tasna Rose by three lengths in 29.38.
The a4 final saw Tullamuck Benny and Condor Judy go to the bend together.
The former ran off the turn and his chance was gone. Condor Judy went on to lead by a length at the second bend with Totos Gift and Ratchies Aratzi in behind.
Totos Gift powered into a length lead at the turn and there was no stopping him as he stayed clear of Ratchies Aratzi to win by a length and a half in 29.44.
In the first heat of the staying stake, Sir Jim and Priceless Rum showed well from traps.
Sir Jim went on to establish a two length lead into the third, and it was a lead that he maintained all the way down to the fifth bend. Rounding the fifth, String Of Pearls was beginning to make her presence felt.
String Of Pearls finished well but Sir Jim dug deep and held on to score by a head in 40.80.
The third and final heat turned into a procession from the first bend.
Brownshill Ace went on along the outer and raced 10 lengths clear as his rivals failed to get into the contest. The impressive Brownshill ace stretched out and never looked like being caught.
Sporting Victor and Jaytee Jade enjoyed some late success in reeling in Brownshill Ace but the Ace was not for catching. Brownshill Ace obliged by four and a half lengths in 40.98.
Tucker Foley started well in the ninth race but it was Sawdust Club who led around the first bend after shooting by on the rails.
Sawdust Club eased two lengths clear into the second bend and he maintained that lead all the way into the third. Tucker Foley kept trying to claw back the deficit but Sawdust Club proved two and a half lengths too good for trainer Murt Leahy in 29.26.
The last race saw Luminous Fantasy scorch to the bend but he never got too far clear and the strong running Sober Escape had him in his sights from the second turn.
The pair were level by the third and as stamina came into play Sober Escape found that little bit more. Sober Escape, trained by Karol Ramsbottom got the better of Luminous Fantasy by three quarters of a length in 29.31.
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