Exhibition Eske roars to Puppy Classic success
Barrie Draper: trains Caffreys Puppy Classic winner Ballymac EskePICTURE: STEVE NASH
The Caffreys Puppy Classic final, which is worth £7,500 to winning connections, was run at Nottingham on Monday night and Ballymac Eske, the 1-6 favourite, duly did the business but it wasn't all plain sailing.
Barrie Draper's talent took a heafty bump out of the traps and then had to be brave to turn third some six lengths off the pace. He roared after the leaders Garly Rocky and Whittle Murtagh down the far side but was forced to check off the final bend before storming up the home straight to score going away - beating Whittle Murtagh by 1 3/4L in 29.83sec.
The undercard included two heats of the Molson Coors Dual Distance Trophy. The eliminators were run over the 680-metre trip while next Monday's £400 decider will be over the extended 730-metre course.
The first heat, saw Gary Wilson's Maudabawn Jenny (5-2) come from way off the pace to overpower the leaders on the run-in and record a modest 42.62sec.
Baliff Bob, the heavily-supported newcomer, was always struggling to get past early leader Mays Trotter and the 4-6 jolly was unluckily run out of a qualifying spot in a three-way photo for second.
Terry Munslow's Conkon (4-6F), a real course and distance specialist, was an impressive and fast winner of heat two. Turning second and then leading out of the fourth bend, he drew on to beat Salacres Sparky by 5 1/2L in 41.81sec and will surely take all the beating in the final.
Earlier, the Sprint contest at 7.48 produced a stunning run from Julie Calvert's Jumeirah Dubai (11-8F) who tore round the 305-metre course in a speedy 17.62sec.
At Romford, the fastest qualifier for Friday's £750 Coral On TV Maidens Trophy final is Ultravox who took the opening heat in 24.41sec.
Alison Ingram's black, who was sent off at 5-1, showed the pace to just clear the field into the first corner and then set sail for home down the far side. Soviet Military rallied gamely to get within three parts of a length of the winner and may be one to consider in the decider.
It was a case of deja vu in heat two. On Friday night Dave Mullins' Blue Glenard beat Quarterland Clas over C&D and we had a repeat result here with the well-supported winner who overcame a scrappy start, scoring by 2 1/2L in 24.43sec.
Jim Reynolds' Blackstone Tommy brought his trapping boots for heat three and, once he drove the bend and took an early advantage, ran out a comfortable winner in 24.53sec.
Draw for Friday's final: 1 Lynton Beauty, 2 Blackstone Tommy (m), 3 Quarterland Clas (m), 4 Ultravox (m), 5 Blue Glenard (m), 6 Soviet Military (w).