It was the novice Redwood Mick owned by Anna Gleeson from County Laois that recorded the fastest return at Newbridge on Friday night.
He powered around the circuit to score in a fantastic clock of 29.47. With the second round of the Michael Fitzpatrick Oaks also decided the final resting place of the €7000 winner’s prize money is still up for grabs.
The front running performance of Redwood Mick was a joy to behold as he made every post a winning one to win quite easily by fourteen lengths from the always second placed Sonnys Star.
The writing was on the wall once Redwood Mick’s opening price in the betting ring was quickly taken to send him off at odds on favourite. His supporters had not one moment’s worry as Mick had this contest sewn up by the time the opening corner was reached. His step up in the grades will be watched in the coming weeks with great anticipation.
Race 1 A8 525: Vigorous Tara owned by Mrs. L. Smolders from Belgium and trained by Larry Mason took the opening race and it was the manner that she took it in that made every one present sit up and take notice.
Left in the traps as the hare passed she went around the opening corner in last position as Ruby Beyond set the early fractions. Vigorous Tara had got herself into second place by the third corner after weaving her way into contention. Taking over coming off the final corner Tara raced away to win by three lengths over Ruby Beyond in a very nice 29.36.
Race 2 S4/5 325: Trainer Larry Mason recorded a double in this race as the Mason-Hassett-Syndicate owned Forest Header came away well at trap rise. Staying close to the rail all the way home Forest Header raced away to score easily by seven lengths over Deel Rose in a nice 18.00 winning clock.
Race 3 S2/3 325: The Luke Flynn owned Lady Ericka got back on the winning trail. Flashing out of the outside berth to just make the opening corner ahead of the novice Keaveney. Ericka trained by Tony Byrne pulled out a three length winning margin over Monks Byrne crossing the winning line in a nice 17.78.
Race 4 See lead story.
Race 5 Michael Fitzpatrick Memorial Oaks Round 2 Heat 1:It was the noted early pacer Donanes Facebook that took a flyer from traps to skip around the opening corner ahead of Ring The Guards and Danmar Mini. From here Facebook set a sizzling pace to make the home straight with Danmar Mini giving chase. All the way home Mini reduced the deficit but the winning line came just in time as the Eugene Wheatley owned Dennis Smyth trained Donanes Facebook stopped the clock in a very good 28.68 to score by half a length with Ring The Guards advancing forward to the semi final in third place.
Race 6 Michael Fitzpatrick Memorial Oaks Round 2 Heat 2: After a very level break it was the local raider Loyal Molly that skipped around the opening corner with Tyrur Annaleen and Our Little Mix tucked nicely in her slipstream. Racing towards the third corner the Ms Annaleen Carre owned Tyrur Annaleen slipped into the lead to make the home straight just ahead of Our Little Mix. Powering on to the winning line Annaleen pulled out a very impressive five lengths over Our Little Mix to break the ray in a very nice 28.88. Locally handled Ballycowen Hero came home very strong in third.
Race 7 Michael Fitzpatrick Memorial Oaks Round 2 Heat 3: The Wexford owned Ketch Up Bell drawn along the rails attracted some nice wagers in the betting ring. Getting into her stride quickly the Eleanor Turner owned lady just shaded it into the first corner ahead of both Tasmanic Jaxx and Buttermaid. From here this Blackstone Gene lady raced away impressively to cross the winning line with three and a half lengths to spare over Buttermaid who just pipped Tasmanic Jaxx. Bell broke the ray in a very nice 28.75.
Race 8 Michael Fitzpatrick Memorial Oaks Round 2 Heat 4: Another trap to line winner emerged in the final heat as Farkland Mist set the early fractions with recent Derby finalist Carrowgarriff racing in second place throughout. There was no catching the Joe Lindsay owned Farkland Mist as she glued herself to the rails all the way home to score by two and a half lengths over Carrowgarriff in the fastest clock of the heats of 28.55. Billis Adare qualified another one length back in third place.
Race 9 A1 525: Kilgraney Apollo and Lodgefield Start gave us a great spectacle as they raced as one from trap rise all the way to the third corner. Going into the third the Mary Buggy owned Kilgraney Apollo just gained the upper hand to make the home straight in the lead. All the way to the winning line Kilgraney had to withstand the renewed challenge from Lodgefield and on stopping the clock in a nice 29.19 he had just a half a length to spare.