Puma Well Clear Of His Pack
Milldean Puma is quickly establishing himself as one of the country’s leading stayers.
Puma Red Hot
He transferred his four bend form to six bends with an emphatic win in last week’s quarter finals. The comments ‘FAw,drclr’ tells its own story! Breaking fast from the inside he found himself over three lengths in front as he passed the stand for the first time.
He really broke his opponents’ hearts as he stretched them out down the far side, it was his kennel companion Jo Jo Fantasy who done the chasing down the back but was making no ground on the leader. As Puma turned for home he was still in cruise control as he stopped the clock in the fastest of the year so far, 41.75!
Fizzpop Buddy, to his credit, looked to run the place a lot better this week after getting into trouble around the first two turns. Buddy has had a hectic week so the seven days rest will do him the world of good and he remains a big player. Jo Jo Fantasy kept on for third position while War Lord took fourth place.
Tess Proves Her Bets
Airmount Tess was subject of a few hefty bets in the ante-post book since the start of the competition and on Friday night we saw the reason behind the confidence. After a good start from trap six she led into the home straight first time around but seemed to get caught a bit for middle pace as Ardrahan Zindi just overtook her between bends three and four.
Even though Zindi took up the running down the back straight she never could shake off Tess and never got further than a length clear. Tess challenged Zindi up the inside at the penultimate bend but got checked up causing both bitches to lose momentum. Ascot Becky looked a winner turning for home but hats off to Airmount Tess, she dug really deep and kept finding approaching the line to get up and win by a neck in 42.23.
If she hadn’t got checked up between the last two corners she would have won alone and shaved a few spots off the clock. Ardrahan Zindi kept on for third here while Fionntra Gavin nabbed the final qualifying spot.
Priceless Lassie used every ounce of stamina in her 63lbs body to win a very competitive heat two last Friday night. Beaming Coyote and Jimbobjoe disputed the early lead in this heat with the latter having the better run at the bend on the outside. Beaming had to check up slightly on the inside which in turn caused Priceless Lassie to stumble a small bit back in third. Jimbob towed them along down the far side with Beaming in second position and Priceless Lassie in third.
As they reached bends five and six, the ones in front began to bunch up a bit. Off the last corner Beaming would have been trading very short in running as she is a proven stayer but Priceless Lassie stuck to the inside rail and flew up the home straight to go on and score by a length in 42.17. Two lengths covered the whole field at the finish, Beaming Coyote finished second a half length in front of Jimbobjoe who was in turn a short head in front of Tyrap Dragi in fourth.
The first semi-final this week looks red hot on paper.
Milldean Puma will be your likely favourite on the draw, he has the inside line which is vital.
Fizzypop Buddy can make a name for himself on these shores in the second semi. He gets the vote ahead of Jo Jo Fantasy.
The Irish National Sprint got underway in Dundalk last weekend with ten heats run over two nights. Ballymac Bigmike is the sprinter on everybody’s lips at the moment and he didn’t let his followers down on Friday night.
Getting off to a level start he was a length clear after three or four strides and really opened up on the long run to the first corner recording a best ever 6.93 first sectional. Keeping up a strong gallop around the ‘Ballymac bend’ he strode up the home straight to stop the clock in the fastest of the year 21.00. He is the one to beat in the competition but with four runs remaining it’s not a forgone conclusion.
English Derby fourth Lenson Rocky was another big name winner on the first night of action. Rocky opened up a red hot 1/3 favourite for his heat and never gave his backers a moment of worry. Recording a 7.26 sectional, he came home three and a half lengths in front of Talking Tactics in 21.29.
Laughil Mike caught the eye in his victory in heat five on Friday night. The time of the race was nothing special (21.61) but it was the way he won it. Mike gave away an awful lot of ground running so wide between the two bends and still managed to keep on and win by a length and a half. It could have been his first look at the track so natural improvement is expected.
Catunda Dubai continued his fine form of late making it three wins in so many starts for Rita and John Downey, he held on to win his heat in 21.40.
Aulton Jet came away with the fastest run on the second night of heats.
Jet has five wins from six starts on his card and is quickly establishing himself as one of the country’s leading two bend runners.
After two impressive victories over 350 yards in Shelbourne Park, he was well fancied to take heat eight.
Showing blistering early pace he went to the bend alone (6.96 sectional) but seemed to get lost a small bit before regathering himself when he straightened up for home. 21.29 was the winning time here, no doubt he can shave a length or two off this when he gets to know the bends.
Toolmakers Scot is a serious performer on his day but yet he seems to be Robert Gleeson’s second string in this competition. Scot only ran in the final of the Sunderland Classic last Tuesday night so has plenty of miles clocked up over the last few weeks. Scot did plenty wrong in his heat but still managed to win, he was another runner to have his first look at the circuit.
No doubt he will improve leaps and bounds, 21.40 was his winning return. Marie Gilbert has a nice type in the shape of Pennys Kong, this lad is a winner of four of his last five starts and has plenty of local knowledge of the track. He made all to take his heat in 21.39.
The second round takes place this Friday night and if anybody is in the vicinity of Dundalk I would advise you to make your way to the track as there are some cracking heats in store. Heat four is worth the entry fee alone. Aulton Jet, Toolmakers Scott and Ballymac Bigmike are all in opposition. On paper this looks a mouth-watering contest. Let’s hope all three get through safe and sound. Best of luck trying to pick the winner!
The Champion Stakes is due to get underway this weekend, as we go to print, the draw is yet to be known but going on early entries, Clares Rocket will be at the head of the betting.
There will be a bit of an International flavour to it this year as Jimmy Wright is taking over the start of his kennel Droopys Buick for a tilt at this before an assault on the Derby. You couldn’t but be impressed with his 29.63 trial (550) first look at the circuit. Ballydoyle Honey, Skywalker Rory, Swords Ace, Fair Taxes and Farloe Joey are also among the early entries. Betting will be available on Thursday afternoon! #BetOnBoyle