ACE AND JOHNNY STAY UNBEATEN IN IRISH SPRINT CUP

Ian Fortune

Both Serene Ace and Shancol Johnny continued their unbeaten march through the Irish Sprint Cup at Dundalk on Saturday night with both dipping under the 21 second barrier but, for the third week running, it was the former that set the standard.

Serene Ace is clearly very comfortable around Dundalk and he produced yet another paw-perfect display of front running to see off his rivals with ease. While not quite matching his sensational 6.89 sectional of seven days earlier, the brilliantly fast son of Scolari Me daddy did record 6.94 to dominate from the outset.

In contrast, his regular foe Flashing Willow walked from traps and actually ran a big race to qualify in third. But there was no stopping Serene Ace. The Michael O’Donovan trained star proceeded to race on for a facile seven length victory over Droopys Gravy in 20.96.

JOHHNY WAS GOOD

Soon after, Shancol Johnny also continued his winning ways for the in-form Adam Dunford.

Although headed briefly at traps, the son of Ballymac Best and Solas An Iarthar displayed wonderful acceleration to lead after a matter of strides.

Once going to the front, it was all pretty straightforward for Shancol Johnny despite the best efforts of the persistent Ross Dame. On the heels of Shancol Johnny into the turn, Ross Dame pushed the pace-setter throughout but could never bridge the gap. Instead, Shancol Johnny took the verdict by three parts of a length in a rapid 20.99. Zoom was another two and a quarter lengths away in third.

SHAY GIVES RIVALS THE SLIP

Runninta Shay’s stock is definitely on the rise and he ran out a deserving winner of Heat 3 for Johnny Linehan and the Runninta Syndicate.

Unlike the previous two heat winners, Runinta Shay didn’t set the pace in the early yards but was close to the pace as Fantasy Jesse flew up the inside to lead on the corner.

Drifting slightly of the fence at this point, Fantasy Jesse left the door open for Runninta Shay and he didn’t need a second invitation. Running a tremendous second corner, he slipped onto the fence and shot past Fantasy Jesse as they entered the long home straight.

Staying on strongly, the son of Laughil Blake and Droopys Pizazz eased away to beat Fantasy Jesse by two lengths in 21.17. Manuone was the best of the remainder, a further length and a quarter back in third.

NO DRAMA FROM OZARK

Hawkfield Ozark claimed his eleventh career victory in the final heat showing superior early dash to his rivals to lead before the corner.

The Keeley McGee trained son of Laughil Blake and Brownstown Tango built a comfortable advantage before coasting home clear.

2021 finalist Corbrack Prince d stay on strongly but was never gong to reel in the leader. Jerry Connors’ Hawkfield Ozark went on to emerge a comfortable length and a half scorer in a fast 21.04. There was a further two length gap top the third qualifier, Westside Frank.

Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup

Semi-final draw

Heat 1

1 RUNNINTA SHAY

2 CORBRACK PRINCE

3 ZOOM

4 SHANCOL JOHNNY

5 FLASHING WILLOOW (W)

6 MANUONE (W)

Heat 2

1 FANTASY JESSE

2 DROOPYS GRAVY

3 SERENE ACE

4 ROSS DAME (M)

5 HAWKFIELD OZARK (M)

6 WESTSIDE FRANK (W)