There was a very good crowd in St James Park on Sunday for the final of the 25th Red Mills Champion Open Unraced Stake. Amongst the crowd were the winners of the previous 24 stakes, who were invited back by the Board at the track.
Razldazl Zar was favourite, armed with the favoured trap 1 box. The favourite started well, as did Jaytee Valencia and Con Te Partiro. The latter tried for the inner and his chance was gone.
Jaytee Valencia led around the first, followed by Valentia Slate. Razldazl Zar found trouble. Jaytee Valencia turned down the back stretch a little over a length up before extending that to two lengths into the third. Razldazl Zar powered into second on the run home, but the night belonged to John Turner’s Jaytee Valencia. Bought after the first round, the son of Farley Blitz and Bling Bling Bolt was moved to trainer Paul Hennessy. Jaytee Valencia won by four lengths in a brilliant 28.87, claiming the €5,000 prize and prestigious title.
The Open sprint was won by Out In Court, while the Open 525 went to Skyview Blue. The a3 final was won by Tynwald Viper as Old Road Henry took the a5 decider.
In race 1, a Puppy a3 525, Karlow Master trapped out well but it was Ascot Lydia who led around the first bend. The leader turned down the far side two lengths clear, but was joined into the third bend. There were fourth dogs in contention at the second last.
Karlow Master took control as he cut across his rivals. Karlow Master raced to the line to defeat Skilful Paddy in 29.31.
In the Open sprint Out In Court and Mr Auctioneer were first to show. They were joined on the run to the first by Dan The Man. The trio were in a line before Mr Auctioneer was dropped.
The Liam Hayes trained Out In Court was that little bit tighter around the last and this helped see off Dan The Man in 16.43.
The first final of the night (Track Supporters a5 525) saw Old Road Henry lead into the first bend, where trouble claimed a number of challengers. Salubrious Kate was a length off the leader at the second and moved to within a half a length at the third turn.
However, Old Road Henry found plenty and pushed on again to win by two lengths in 29.53.
In the marathon contest (1,000 yards) Bricken Maley was the first to show. He led for the first circuit, followed by Moorhamm Ace. The pace setter was still in front by the sixth bend, but began to struggle. Moorhamm Ace took over at the front then.
Today Gold Bars looked a big danger but Moorhamm Ace stayed clear to win in 57.77.
The a3 final (Red Mills Tracker 525) was a five dog contest. It turned into a four dog race after 20 yards when Roo Ace was impeded. The quartet were level into the bend where the Maria Byrne trained Tynwald Viper barged his way into the lead.
The well supported Tynwald Viper was left five lengths clear into the back stretch. The battle was on for second. Aughduff Murt came through but Tynwald Viper was home for the spoils in 29.36.
Ontherun Mitzy and Flomur Antics vied for the lead early inj the next before the latter got the bend on the outer. Flomur Antics upped the ante but saw Ontherun Mitzy showed well. Ontherun Mitzy tried hard on the run in, but Flomur Antics took victory in 29.19.
In race 8 the Darragh Morrissey trained Mister Bates continued his winning run. In a race full of early pace, Mister Bates critically got the bend ahead of Old Road Ken. The pair had a ding dong battle from there with Mister Bates eventually seeing off his rival by a length and a half in 29.32.
In race 9, an Open 525, punters only wanted Raheen Boy in the finale and he was sent off at odds of 4/5. Ballinattin Ash and Skyview Blue started fast and went to the first together. They were level around the first before Skyview Blue kicked on out of the second.
Raheen Boy was up with the pace and was within two lengths of the leader at the third. Raheen Boy closed up on Skyview Blue as the line approached. The pair flashed across the line together with Skyview Blue holding on by a short head in 29.03.