TRAPRISE - Alice remains Amazing despite Cesarewitch defeat
On a hectic weekend of exciting racing action, local kennels returned victories across a host of venues with many outstanding performances but frustratingly, not a classic success that we had been so hoping for when the wonderful Amazing Alice (Aero Majestic-Droopys Coast) was made to settle for second place in the final of the 2020 Irish Cesarewitch at Mullingar.
Trainer Pat Guilfoyle had of course been chasing classic glory on two fronts but having dead-heated for third place in his Irish Laurels semi-final at Cork, Grangeview Ten was withdrawn from a Tuesday run-off with Droopys Hamish, thus relinquishing his opportunity to reach the final which was subsequently claimed by Johnny Linehan’s home hope Runinnta Seeya.
With focus fully turned to Mullingar, Amazing Alice held every opportunity of delivering a fourth Cesarewitch for Pat Guilfoyle following a brilliant campaign to reach the 600 yard final but facing exalted opposition, it was a poor break from trap 2 which would ultimately cost the brilliant September 2018 youngster her classic victory.
Switching behind runners to race on the rails in the early stages, Alice lost ground on fast starting Irish Derby runner-up Meenagh Miracle. Gamely outpacing the remainder of the field however, she miraculously galloped her way to second position at the first bend but had a huge task on her paws as Meenagh Miracle had stretched clear to the backstraight. For one brief moment beyond halfway, hope was renewed when the Guilfoyle powerhouse began to reduce her five length deficit but it would soon become clear that her task was impossible as Meenagh Miracle was breaking the track record while claiming a four length victory in 32.75 (-50).
Rather than rue defeat however, this brilliant campaign to run-up such a hot classic should be lauded as Amazing Alice confirms herself an astounding talent who can be a feared opponent wherever her next challenge lies.
Staying on the classic scene, the 2020 Sporting Press Irish Oaks commenced at Shelbourne Park on Saturday and leading the local challenge when claiming opening round victory was Michael Hogan’s Grangeview West (Zero Ten-Portumna West).
The Guilfoyle trained star had spent twelve months off the track before a recent return in preparation for the Oaks and showed the benefits for that outing when leading throughout her 28.35 defeat of Battle Cry. Likely to progress in her racing return, she can be a big player in the 525-yard classic.
Joining her in round 2 is Michael Hogan’s second representative, Grangeview Nifty, and she was up to her very best form when chasing home Droopys Curio at a deficit of three lengths in 28.39 while the Padraig O’Lone trained Ballybrack Gem was back in top flight action when filling third in her opening heat, four lengths adrift of Old Love Tune in 28.71. All three local challengers will hold strong claims to progress from this coming Saturday’s second round.
Spencer puppy duo remain unbeaten
Having opened their racing careers with first round victory in the Suirside Restaurant Unraced 525 Yard Bitch Stake at Clonmel, Richard Spencer’s Bettys Hope and Bettys Book both kept unbeaten records intact when registering a litter double for the second week in a row on Friday.
By Droopys Sydney out of Laughil Irene, Bettys Hope posted a slick 28.93 on debut and backed up that performance with a brave second round win. Level away from Trap 6, the June 2019 pup reached the bend on the outside of a line of four runners before forcefully striking the front on the run to the backstraight despite a bump while turning. Not for catching thereafter, the Roscrea charge drew readily clear to a three-length winning margin in 29.28.
In the following quarter-final, comrade Bettys Book was a warm fancy following her debut 28.89 performance and although slower this time, she arguably left a greater impression when displaying admirable battling qualities for one so inexperienced.
Breaking on terms from Trap 2, she raced amidst a tightly packed field on the run to the first bend where she did well to maintain forward momentum when bumped from both sides. Gamely retaining second position to the backstraight, she would gradually reduce a two-length deficit approaching the third turn before her challenge was significantly impaired when clashing with the leader. With rivals closing in behind, Bettys Book was forced to challenge on the outside in the home straight but her renewed effort while displaying huge resolve delivered the bravest of victories by half a length in 29.55.
With the Spencer pups displaying willing attitudes on top of their fast first round victories, the kennel holds big claims in the event as both contest separate semi-finals this Friday.
That same Clonmel meeting featured the opening round of the Selachii Legal Munster Juvenile 525 Yard Stake and having given notice of her immense potential in a progressive career start, John Meelam & Sean Ryan’s Meduza (Good News-Jaytee Osprey) found further improvement when fastest of the heats on Friday.
Ideally housed in Trap 1, the John Byrne trained pup was swift to stride and defending the inside rail, repelled the field with a narrow advantage to the first turn. Extending readily clear to the backstraight, she quickly settled the contest while certain to see out the trip strongly and was never seriously threatened when posting a brilliant 28.57 with over four lengths in hand. A warm event, victory will not come easy but one of the brightest prospects on the local scene, Meduza will prove difficult to contain while still progressing in her fledgling racing career.