25-1 Clerihan strikes Gold in Sheffield feature
Barrie Draper: Sheffield success with Farlow Holly and Capoley AshPICTURE: STEVE NASH
JOHN SHARP'S Clerihan Gold, a 25-1 chance, caused a massive upset when taking the £7,500 Carling Chrome 3 Steps To Victory Final at Sheffield on Tuesday night.
The Category One decider saw the sole wide seed rally gamely on the final two bends and, with railers getting in each others way, battled on bravely to beat the unlucky Bowtime Joey by half-a-length in 46.16sec.
The supporting card included two other 660-metre Stayers' races the first of which saw Elaine Parker's Welton Arthur (11-4) show the superior early pace to open up a winning lead by halfway and comfortably beat the well-supported Mr Chow by over three lengths in a useful 39.22sec.
Dave Firmager's Romeo Patrol (6-4F) was equally impressive when taking the second six-bender beating Ballintine Molly by a shade over five lengths in an impressive 39.08sec.
Barrie Draper's Capoley Ash (1-2F) blew away the opposition on the first lap of the 915m Marathon and, although seemingly tiring in the closing stages, still had almost five lengths in hand over the staying on Powerfast Pigeon.
The televised action had got under way at 7.40 with the first of two Bitches-only 480 metre events and it was first blood to punters when Sean Davy's Shelbourne Abi (5-2F) made full use of a ping break and track knowledge to make all in a time of 28.06sec.
The second, and arguably classier, of the 480m Bitches races went off at 8.50 and saw Barrie Draper's Farlow Holly (2-1F) record her maiden open victory in gutsy all-the-way fashion and clock 27.92sec.
Dogs only lined up for the 480m contest at 8.15 and Stepaside Bigjak, the13-8 jolly trained by local handler Jamie Smith, came out best in beating the gallant Bowtime Regan by half-a-length in 28.15sec.
Six railers lined up for the 500m contest at 9.25 and Steve Race's Head Iton Haysey (3-1), well drawn in red, came from off the pace to strike close home in a time of 28.93sec.
A very eventful 500-metre Hurdle Challenge at 9.00, a three-runner contest worth £9,500 to the winner - the biggest ever purse for a UK hurdle race - was won by Lisa Stephenson's Olivers Twist.
Forced to check off the second bend, the 2-7 favourite charged down the back straight to lead by the third bend but then seemed to slow in front. This allowed Cabra Legend to rally but unfortunately Liz McNair's dog was more interested in his opponent rather than winning the race and was disqualified for deliberate interference close home.