Action from Dundalk Stadium
There’s a decided Northern feel to the final of the Paddy & Eamon Carroll Memorial 525, the feature event on the big card down for decision at Dundalk Stadium this Saturday night.
All six qualifiers for the €2,000-to-the-winner contest are kennelled on the far side of the Border, and it’s one of the County Armagh representatives, Robbies Turbo, who is likely to start favourite.
Shea Campbell’s runner met with trouble in the opening round, but recovered well to take third spot. He had, however, no such traffic problems in the second of last Saturday night’s semi-finals.
Running from four, the son of Romeo Recruit and Sporting Dame was prominent from the word go, putting a lot of daylight between himself and the rest at an early stage. He maintained a strong gallop throughout and at the finish had eight-and-a-lengths to spare over the Newry-based challenger, Mals Boy, recording an exceptional 28.30.
Robbies Turbo is drawn in one, alongside Coloured Lily who is also expected to be prominent in the betting. The only unbeaten finalist, this lassie won her semi-final by an even bigger margin than Robbies, finishing 10 lengths clear of Bannside Tilly after making a good start from the inside berth. And her clock was good – a career-best 28.49.
A County Tyrone runner was to the fore in the third semi, Cricket Club taking the perfect opportunity to score a first career win. An inmate of the in-form O’Neill kennel in Coalisland, the lightweight was, like the other semi-final winners, in the picture straight away, and while pressed by Kilbride Ninja stayed on well to win by just over two lengths from the Downpatrick challenger in 28.73.
The draw for the decider has been kindest of all to Robbies Turbo, the Campbell runner wearing the one sheet. The full line-up:
31 Robbies Turbo (Romeo Recruit=Sporting Dame) bk d July ‘17: Owner/trainer, Shea Campbell, Armagh
11 Coloured Lily (Zero Ten-Cathy Said So) bk b March ’16: Owner/trainer, Audrey McBurney, Hamiltonsbawn, Cio Armagh
12 Bannside Tilly (Alberts Blue-Bannside Eleanor) bk b November ’16: Owner/trainer, Francis Murphy, Laurencestown, Co Down
21 Cricket Club (Iso Octane-Hillview Grace) bk b October ’17: Owner/trainer, Donald O’Neill, Coalisland, Co Tyrone
12 Kilbride Ninja (Over Limit-Lughill Niamh) bk d July ’17: Owner, Desmond Woods, Downpatrick; trainer, Damien Maginn, Downpatrick, Co Down
12 Mals Boy (Superior Product-Kansas Citychief) w be b, August ’16: Owner, Master Lorcan Mathers, Newry; trainer, Seamus McIntyre, Newry, Co Down
There should be a right tussle between Robbies Turbo and Coloured Lily on the run to the opening bend. Both have shown they can go up fast, and if it happens they have it between them at this crucial juncture, the one showing in front turning into the back could have a race-winning advantage.
Robbies Turbo is taken to lead up and go on from there to take the third running of this competition.