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TRAPRISE - Lee set for Reckless Flight in Kasko showdown

Friday, 9th October, 2020 10:16am
TRAPRISE - Lee set for Reckless Flight in Kasko showdown

Thurles Greyhound Stadium

TRAPRISE - Lee set for Reckless Flight in Kasko showdown

Thurles Greyhound Stadium



A coveted prize while a perennial highlight for patrons of Thurles Greyhound Stadium, the Kasko Unraced 525 Yard Stake harbours a historical prestige at the Premier circuit and a stellar renewal in 2020 sees young Nenagh trainer John Byrne in search of a breakthrough victory in this Saturday’s final showdown following the brilliant semi success of Reckless Lee.

Local aspirations were double barrelled ahead of last weekend’s semi-finals with Peadar O’Dwyer’s Banter Blade occupying Trap 1 in the same heat as Reckless Lee but not as swift to stride as in his previous victories, the hugely promising O’Dwyer pup found himself with too much work to do on the backstraight behind the pacesetting Byrne youngster.

From Trap 5, Reckless Lee bravely battled through minor early bumping to secure a narrow first bend lead and reaching the backstraight with a length in hand, he would edge further clear to halfway. Repelling formidable rivals Ballyhooly Roch and Chasing Turkey with two and a half lengths to spare at the line, Reckless Lee (Skywalker Farloe/Mill Felicity) stayed well to score his second heat win when posting a smart 29.25 (-40).

Hunting that trio home when a length and a half further back, Banter Blade exits the event but not without leaving a big impression after commencing his career with a brace of top quality victories and he remains a very bright prospect indeed for his Borrisokane connections.

The opposing semi-final was claimed by the final’s sole unbeaten runner and Reckless Lee will be on a revenge mission when again facing Knockboy Flight on Saturday. The latter has been brilliant in the event and backed-up his second-round defeat of Reckless Lee with the bravest of semi wins in 29.15 (40). However, that likely favourite was led in the early stages then and from what looks a suitable draw for Reckless Lee in Trap 6, may find the Byrne charge a tougher rival to negotiate should our local hope again lead to the backstraight!


Ten-tative progress in Laurels

There was disappointment ahead of the Irish Laurels second round heats with the news that Siobhan Burke’s Patricks Machine would not take his place following opening night success but local aspirations could not rest in better paws than that of superstar Grangeview Ten (Zero Ten/Portumna West) and Michael Hogan’s dual classic winner warmed to his Laurels task when gaining a first victory in this year’s event on Saturday.

Racing from Trap 3 in Heat 7, the Pat Guilfoyle trained speedster appeared briefly unbalanced upon exiting the boxes but on terms, Grangeview Ten displayed his brilliant early pace for a narrow first bend lead before extending to two lengths at the top of the back-straight. Powering to the closing bends, he was never seriously threatened thereafter while repelling the strong staying Ballycowen John by three and a half lengths.

Posting 28.37 (+37) for the 525 yards, last season’s Laurels third compares pleasingly within the stake with fastest of the night coming from St Leger champion Ballymac Anton in 28.24 (+10). Drawn in Trap 4 for the opening quarter-final this Saturday, Grangeview Ten may well need to progress again in a heat which harbours smart early dash in the shape of Outnumbered to his outer and the likes of Our Sydney and Ballyhooly Cian to his inner. However, an adept break should see the Irish Sprint Cup champion win the battle to the bend from where he can complete victory.


Logan imitates Lazarus in Cesarewitch defence

Heat 7 in the opening round of the 2020 Irish Cesarewitch was only a five runner contest and with three to advance to the next round, all appeared a comfortable commencement in the defence of his title but reigning champion Skywalker Logan (Tarsna Havana-Sizzling Sarah) was forced into a miraculous recovery, resurrecting his challenge having been plumb last to the backstraight.

A poor start with bumping at the opening bend had Skywalker Logan trailing and still last beyond the halfway point, he had a task on his paws to qualify. Advancing to fourth on the inside at the closing bends, he was all but out of the competition when checking his stride while shuffled back to last place once again. However, we have learned never to write off our local superstar and while Glenlara Rosa was stopping the clock in 33.19 (-50) for the 600 yard classic trip, Logan chased home in third having powered along the home straight to put three lengths between himself and his fourth place rival, clearly oblivious to his supporters concerns. Never in doubt!

A special event for the Guilfoyle kennels who had twice claimed the Cesarewitch with Definate Opinion (Aero Majestic-Droopys Coast) in 2010 & 2011 before Skywalker Logan claimed victory last season, this year sees trainer Pat with a team of three challengers and leading the charge on Saturday was Amazing Alice for Australian owner Peter Sutcliffe.

Backing-up her brilliant A3 stake success with blistering trials at Shelbourne Park, Amazing Alice relished the step up in distance when landing Heat 3 in 33.20 (-50). Headed at trap rise, she began to close on pacesetting Andy Jaxx and joining that rival off the second turn, settled the race in emphatic fashion when streaking clear to halfway. Bounding to a nine and a half length verdict, Alice lay down a big marker in just her seventh career start.

Also advancing to the second round was Alice Guilfoyle’s Magical Jasper (Head Bound-Laughil Louise) with a pleasing display while chasing home Cordial at three and a half lengths in 33.17 (-50), but there was a further Moneygall winner in the opening round when Eoin Troy’s Mystical Luna (Taylors Sky-Skywalker Gail) confirmed the form of her latest blistering 575 win at Galway to claim Heat 5 of the Cesarewitch.

Relishing the long run to the first bend, Luna led Ripley Lad to the back-straight in her first Open race experience and though tiring slightly in the latter stages, held that rival at bay for a neck verdict in a smart 33.23 (-50). On a rapid upward curve, her early dash at the trip can prove a potent weapon going forward.

The first round also saw a rogue Roscrea challenger amidst the Moneygall exploits and Paul Brussells’s Ring Master (Sparta Maestro/Wrathchild) could hardly have been more impressive in his Heat 6 defeat. Irish Derby runner-up Meenagh Miracle set the pace when breaking best but she would have the Brussells charge on her tail before Ring Master ceded ground when wide at the bend.

Keeping pace with that exalted rival along the backstraight, the Roscrea hopeful was again ponderous at the third turn when losing further ground. A five-length defeat in the fastest of the round 32.96 (-50) however makes the effort of Ring Master thoroughly laudable and he can be a big factor if benefitting for this first outing on the circuit.

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