The majority of Friday night’s card at St James Park, Kilkenny was made up of semi-finals ahead of the benefit night for the Carlow Kilkenny Home Care Team.
It was a good night for trainer, Murt Leahy, who sent out seven runners. He finished with three winners and two seconds.
The fastest of the winners was in the second semi-final of the a1 stake. Ballybough Murt was the odds on favourite.
He looked in a world of trouble into the first bend. However, the wide runner ran a brilliant opening two bends to go around the outside and he was in a prime position heading down the far side.
Optimistic Misty led out of the second bend but was powerless to stop Ballybough Murt storming two lengths clear into the third. Ballybough Murt careered away to defeat Monadreen Sky by five lengths in 29.03.
The other semi-final was won by Foyle Lucy. In the a2 stake, there were wins for Wilderness Rocco and Rathduff Sarah.
Magies Rose started well in the opener but she strayed wide on the run up and this allowed Boozed Knight to take over at the head of affairs.
There was trouble behind Boozed Knight at the first turn and this helped him shoot clear. Magies Rose continued to chase the Paraic Campion trained Boozed Knight but she had to settle for second spot as Boozed Knight won cosily by six lengths in the 29.73.
After a level start in race two Matching Zoey was the first to show. Zoey bumped Tullyrusk Mist on the run up and this saw Droopys Hazel and Kiltegan Andrew go to the bend together.
The duo were joined by the recovering Matching Zoey between the bends and it was a three way go for the lead down the far side. Droopys Hazel went for it into the third, but Kiltegan Andrew was about to challenge on the inner.
There was no room and Kiltegan Andrew was forced to check. Droopys Hazel, trained by Murt Leahy, held a late surge by Kiltegan Andrew by a length in 29.68.
Dog Gone Dreams and Killenane Freddy battled it out on the run up in the next contest.
Dog Done Dreams ran off the bend, impeding her rivals. This allowed Swan Style to shoot through on the rails.
Ran rivals ragged
Once in front, Swan Style ran his rivals ragged. Dog Gone Dreams kept up the chase but the impressive Swan Style was home by three lengths in 29.22.
Droopys Cutey flew to the bend in the opening semi-final of the Coffey Construction a4 bitch stake.
After getting the bend Droopys Cutey moved three lengths clear. The lead was up to four lengths by the third as Bogger Ophelia improved.
Bogger Ophelia was clipped as she went second. Trainer Murt Leahy doubled up as Droopys Cutey scored by four lengths in 29.55, with Ratchies Kiev filling the runner up spot.
Manvers Melody and Ratchies Aratzi began best in the second semi-final.
The pair had it between them into the first before Manvers Melody pushed on to lead by two lengths at the second turn. Ratchies Aratzi was back on terms into the third and all was to play for.
In the latter stages Ratchies Araztzi, trained by Sheila Devoy, pulled away to defeat Bogger Realta by four lengths in 29.50.
Wilderness Rocco began best in the first of the Pat Carroll Wine Lodge a2 semi-finals. The pace setter stormed five length clear into the second as Tomahurra Zuma gave chase.
Wilderness Rocco increased his lead to six lengths rounding the third. Fleece Em Jim finished strongly but there was no catching Wilderness Rocco as he obliged by two and a half lengths in 29.39.
The second semi saw Cashmere Kid and Trumera Wood bump early, and it was tight into the first bend.
Odhrans Girl went on from the first and was two lengths clear of Rathduff Sarah at the second.
There was still two lengths in it heading into the third. On the run home Rathduff Sarah out-stayed Odhrans Girl to take the victory by a length and a half in 29.74.
Race eight was the Seamus Graham and Ned Daly memorial a1 525 semi-final.
Three way go
There was a three way go for the lead between Foyle Lucy, Clearly and Coolside Walker.
Foyle Lucy pushed her way into the lead at the first bend before moving two lengths clear into back stretch.
Clearly chased the leader into the third but found himself five lengths in arrears. Clearly kept up the chase but there was no catching Foyle Lucy as she won by five lengths in 29.06.
Run of the week
Ballybough Murt showed brilliant track craft and big pace from the first bend to win in the fastest time of the night.
One to follow
Kiltegan Andrew took a big step forward on Friday night. Was unlucky not to claim the first career win.
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