The McCalmont Cup belongs to owner Ray Patterson for the forthcoming year after his dog Skywalker Rafa ran out a most deserving winner of the final at St James Park, Kilkenny.
Trained by Michael J O’ Donovan, the son of Laughill Blake and Coolavanny Royce went unbeaten throughout the stake.
In the final Rafa again got the drop on his rivals and led into the first bend.
Three lengths clear at the second, Rafa saw his lead reduced to just a length into the third as Town Jacko made impressive progress.
The challenger was forced to change strides and his chance was gone. Skywalker Rafa galloped to the line to claim the famous prize by a length and a half in 28.87.
The novice final was won by Music Master, while the final of the a2 stake went the way of Condor Judy.
In the opener, Out Back began best and led to the first as the well backed Believe In Blue started slowly.
The hot-pot, aided by Miss Superior pushing in from trap five, moved into contention and sat three lengths off Out Back at the start of the back stretch.
Believe In Blue closed up and passed the long-time leader out of the third. Believe In Blue eased away to defeat the running on Freckles Galore by four lengths in 29.84.
Tommys Dream was the winner of the second race. After leading up from trap two, Tommys Dream raced a length clear into the second with Ratchies Kiev in behind.
The lead was down to half a length by the third and Lemon Bale was also making eye-catching headway back in third.
Lemon Bale ran out of room as Tommys Dream kicked on. Ratchies Kiev had no more and the final challenge came from Bull Run Blue.
Tommys Dream, trained by Murt Leahy, held all comers by a neck in 29.58.
Master hits right note
The first final of the night was the Paradise Madison Open and it was level early. Music Master asserted into the turn and got the bend in front of Danski Dan.
Music Master streaked clear out of the second as Danski Dan and Kilara Jessie tangled slightly.
Five lengths to the good at the third bend, Music Master was pressured late on by the fast finishing Kilara Jessie. The Murt Leahy trained Music Master deserved held sway by a length in a fine 29.24.
In the first staying contest (725), Naylors Jim Bob began best and set the early fractions.
The pace setter opened up a three lengths lead into the third, with Kilara Lynda in behind. Naylors Jim Bob continued to cut out the running but could not shake off the attentions of Kilara Lynda.
Bravely Jim Bob battled on but once again he was out-stayed by Kilara Lynda. Lynda surged late to get up and win by a half a length in 41.60.
In the fifth race Casanova started best and led into the first bend.
The leader moved a length clear of the hot favourite Sober Escape into the back stretch. The lead was down to a half a length by the third.
It was nip and tuck all the way to the line. In the end the Karol Ramsbottom trained Sober Escape got the verdict by a head in 29.32.
The Open 725 was level early. Road Queen took it up into the second and kicked on to lead Nametab Dior at the third turn.
The leader extended her lead to six lengths into the fourth as Dolce Vita improved in behind. Dolce Vita halved the deficit into the fifth and kept on coming at Road Queen as the line approached.
Dolce Vita stormed by to claim victory by two lengths in 41.20.
The Paul Hennessy trained Jaytee Sapphire was the easy winner of the eight race.
The winner led up from trap four and was clear into the bend. There was some bumping in behind and this helped Jaytee Sapphire skip eight lengths clear into the back straight.
There was no stopping Jaytee Sapphire as she careered away. Town Curly came through for a distant second, 14 lengths in arrears of Jaytee Sapphire in a time of 29.19.
Race ne was the Kinloch Brae at stud a2 final. The reserve Condor Judy led early.
After getting to the bend in front, Judy moved two lengths clear of Night Time Mammy going down the far side.
Night Time Mammy closed the gap into the third and looked to hit the front up the home stretch. Night Time Mammy looked a likely winner but Condor Judy came again to snatch the victory.
Condor Judy won by a head in 29.35.
The last race also went the way of a reserve.
This time it was the Karol Ramsbottom trained Goldsmith John who landed the spoils. The winner battled it out early doors with Hello Sparky.
It was tight around the first, but into the back straight Goldsmith John surged clear.
The lead stood at two lengths at the third turn, but Hello Sparky was still in contention.
Hello Sparky finished well but Goldsmith John saw it out by a half a length in 29.16.
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.