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Wise Thought, a shock elimination from the Champion Stakes

  PICTURE:Steve Nash  

Nodrog impresses but Thought crashes out

WISE THOUGHT crashed out of the Champion Stakes at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night when Fatboyz Nodrog produced a brilliant performance that saw him leap to the top of most betting lists for next week’s final.

Pat Gordon’s son of Crash has had an interrupted campaign but looked right back to his early season best following a few recent encouraging runs as he took the opening semi in very impressive fashion. This dog is all about early pace and he displayed that in abundance in a race where he didn’t have the clearest of runs from traps.

It was Droopys Noel that came away fastest from one, but he immediately moved wide and gave Fatboyz Nodrog a bump.

Undeterred, he stepped on the gas and burst to the front before the corner. An impressive turn of pace saw him four lengths clear entering the back from Droopys Noel and Oran Classic.

From here Fatboyz Nodrog was never going to be threatened and he raced on to win by three lengths in an excellent 29.75sec. Barefoot Bryan kept on very strongly to take second spot by a short head from Oran Classic.

Bookmakers had reason to cheer in the remaining twoheats.

First there was the runaway success for 6-1 chance Barefoot Bolt in the second heat.

Barefoot Bolt is a very strong stayer and, once in front, there was no possibility of him being caught. Barefoot Bolt led by three lengths on the second bend, but increased it steadily from here to win by five and a half lengths in a fastest-of-the-night 29.63sec.

Reigning champion Shelbourne Aston ran on really strongly, despite the stitches inserted in a cut sustained at Dundalk, to grab second spot by a length and a half from Fane Basher.

Having never previously raced outside of Limerick or Clonmel, Shaneboy Lee gave the impression that the Shelbourne circuit was designed with him in mind as he pulverised the opposition in the final qualifier  in 29.65sec.

The supporting Boylesports Champion Plate also produced a few fine runs, with David and Janice Jordan’s Archaton Pine fastest in 29.73sec, while the other heat winners were Urney Twins in 29.90sec and Riverside King in 29.80sec.

*Draw for Boylesports Champion Stakes final: 1 Faypoint Man, 2 Barefoot Bryan, 3 Barefoot Bolt, 4 Fatboyz Nodrog, 5 Shelbourne Aston, 6 Shaneboy Lee. Champion Plate final: 1 Jemmy Doodlebeag, 2 Riverside King, 3 Archaton Pine, 4 Urney Twins (m), 5 Castlehill Pat (m), 6 Corporate Attack (w)