TRAPRISE - Alice seeks winning swansong in clash of racing Divas

Now in the ownership of her Moneygall trainer, Pat Guilfoyle’s Amazing Alice (Aero Majestic-Droopys Coast) will seek further competition glory in a wonderful 2021 season when attempting to exact revenge on semi-final conqueror Billys Diva in the final of the prestigious Shelley Fennelly Memorial Open Bitch Stake at Curraheen Park this Saturday.

The fastest opening round winner in the event, the Cesarewitch heroine posted 29.90 ahead of a big clash with Irish Oaks third Billys Diva and despite defeat, Pat Guilfoyle will be pleased with her passage to the final.

From an ideal draw on the fence, it was the brilliant Billys Diva who led to the back-straight while the Moneygall star battled to avoid bumping from her much more complicated pitch in trap 5. Four and a half lengths in arrears on the run to halfway, Amazing Alice predictably stayed the 550-yard trip very strongly and although forced to cede victory in a hot contest, her effort in reducing the winning margin to two and a half lengths was laudable in the extreme.

The faster of the semi-finals in a slick 29.52 (+20), Gortown Glic posted 30.01 (+20) while claiming the second heat and the final is likely to again prove a match between Alice and Diva. Crucially however, Amazing Alice has been drawn on the inside of Billys Diva this time with an appealing trap 1 berth!

Defence of the inside rail to the opening bend can see the Guilfoyle star turn much closer this time, even if Billys Diva can secure clear passage from a trickier trap 4. With Saturday’s showdown set to be her racing swansong before retiring to the Moneygall breeding paddocks in preparation for motherhood, Amazing Alice can be fancied to crown her fabulous racing career with yet another landmark victory.

Chubby too hard to Best in blistering debut

More noted for coursing exploits, the Chubbys prefix of the O’Meara family has been making increasing waves over past season and announcing himself as a hugely exciting prospect for the Dolla kennels, Laura & Ogie O’Meara’s Chubbys Best (Ballymac Best-String Of Pearls) made a stunning debut at Limerick on Saturday.

An October 2019 pup, he was well fancied in the market ahead of the ON2 525 following smart qualifying trials and breaking on terms from trap 3, he made light of a tough task in a warm debut contest when leading throughout having immediately displayed superior dash in the early exchanges. Reducing the race to a virtual solo spin while thoroughly catching the eye with his powerful galloping gait, Chubbys Best extended clear throughout a six-length verdict. Posting a superb, and rarely seen, 28.53 in a first race appearance, the Dolla pup looks a very special young talent.

Staying at Limerick, and earning similar praise here despite defeat last time, Eileen Kennedy’s Dixies Jet (Droopys Jet-Live Queen) left a big impression when chasing home Magical Rocket in their debut clash and confirming that promise in his second race outing on Saturday, the Ballinaclough prospect registered his first win in most game fashion.

The A2 525 contest would offer a tough challenge for the inexperienced September 2019 pup but displaying smart early dash as was the case on debut, he bravely claimed the lead following a tight tussle on the run to the opening turn. In command to the back-straight, he could never fully shake off the attentions of his closest pursuer but resolute while defending a narrow lead in the closing stages, Dixies Jet impressively shed his maiden tag with a neck to spare in a fast 28.82.

That time will see the Kennedy charge rise to A1 next time but at over 80lbs with infinite natural progression, it is confidently expected that the hugely promising pup will continue on an upward curve.

The winning action began early at Limerick last week with a stunning career best from Robert Moloney & Bertie Treacy’s No Extras (Belles Direction-Percys On Fire) as the Roscrea sprinter produced a sizzling career best to land the Track Bookmakers S2 350 on Monday.

A semi-finalist in the Treaty Cup when last at Limerick, his most recent victory came in S1 grade in March and the November 2018 whelp took advantage of his appealing grade when breaking best from trap 6 on Monday. Quickest to reach full stride, he readily drew clear on the run to the opening bend and turning with a three-length advantage, the Moloney speedster would only increase his lead thereafter.

Powering to the line, No Extras posted a blistering 18.68 with five lengths to spare and this career best effort will see him rise to SS0 while obliged to again contest amongst the very best in the sprinting sphere next time. With a wonderful strike-rate however, and on the back of this sharp display, No Extras can ably cope with the upgrade.

Delayed Tipp Cup down to semi-finals

Following a brace of postponements due to excessive temperatures during the past week, the second-round heats of the 2021 Centenary Tipperary Cup eventually went ahead at Thurles on Monday and now down to semi-final stage, local hopes remain strong with trainer John Byrne double handed in the season’s feature.

Fastest of three heats, Dark Devil set the standard for Murt Leahy, but connections of John Meelam & Sean Ryan’s Meduza (Good News-Jaytee Osprey) will be pleased as the Knockalton starlet again filled second. Impressing when chasing the winner home in a smart 29.07 (-30), Meduza remains a big player in the event.

The big news ahead of the opening heat was the absence of competition favourite Cabra Ava and it was Edencurra Brae who scored in 29.20 (-30) as John Byrne & Dominic O’Brien’s Knockalton King (Good News-Newlawn Minnie) qualified in fourth before Auxerre claimed the remaining quarter-final in 29.19 (-30). Back on schedule, the semi-finals are set for this Saturday.