If the clock is a reliable guide - and there are many punters who swear by it - Tidal Native should see them all home in Friday night's final of the Find Us On Facebook 525, at Dundalk Stadium.
The 81-pounder, owned and trained by Marina McKeown in Hillsborough, turned the first of the semi-finals into a procession, winning by five-and-a-half lengths from Milldean Bucko. The son of Godsend had a 28.83 back in October, and on this occasion was just three spots slower than that, bringing his win tally to five.
In a competition dominated by Northern trackers, Armagh challenger, Blakefield Flame, took the second qualifier, and like Tidal Native experienced little difficulty.
Sean Devlin's runner was housed in six and a smart exit allowed him to get on to the rails unhindered. He was chased down the back by Colm Farrelly's home-bred Climb The Walls, who, hard as he tried, couldn't make up the deficit. Winning time of 29.03, and well back in third was Motion Upheld.
Climb The Walls is the only local runner in the line-up which reads (not in trap order); Tidal Native (Marina McKeown, Co Down), Milldean Bucko (M & H Racing Syndicate, Redcar), Pennys Mufasa (Laurence Crosson, Strabane), Blakefield Flame (Sean Devlin, Armagh), Climb The Walls (Colm Farrelly, Dundalk), Motion Upheld (Paul Gallagher, Bedfordshire).
The best was kept until the end in Saturday night's all-graded card. After all the earlier 525 winners had failed to break the 29-second barrier, Coloured River came in with a 28.96, the Monaghan-owned runner claiming a third win on his fifth outing.
Brendan O'Callaghan's dog, a well-bred son of Zero Ten and Cathy Said So, had begun his career by winning two of his four sprint runs at Dowdallshill. This was his first outing over the standard distance, and by scoring well on a track that appeared to be running slow could have a future in this sphere.
Shauneens Pet was another winner for the Farney County. Gerry Irwin's Castleblayney-based home-bred had been an absentee from the winners' circle for a number of months, but showed she hasn't lost the winning touch by coming home ahead of Armagh bitch, Terrific Tina.
Bit Of China opened her account for Blackrock's Stephen Thornton, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Monleek Dawn winning comfortably over the 525 in 29.58. There was also a win for the Arthur Boyle/Seamus Casey axis, Groveshill Dubh adding to her success of the previous week by scoring over Deja Drama in an all-local finish.
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