Saturday night round-up from Ireland, Sunderland
Kelly Macari: missed out by a short head with Mill Maximus at Sunderland, but Mill Hercules obligedPICTURE: STEVE NASH
CAPTAIN SCOLARI (9-2) produced the run of the competition to date with an impressive performance in the opening semi-final of the Bettor.com Northern Irish Derby over 550 yards on Saturday night at Drumbo Park.
Ger Holian’s charge was led early by Brae Boy, but challenged in the back straight and forged clear from the third bend to beat five-timer seeking Devilacare by three lengths in recording a best of event 29.83sec.
Star Head, runner-up to Loughview Gem in the inaugural final last year, made it through to another decider by qualifying in third ahead of early leader Brae Boy, who was bumped at the third bend.
The second semi went to Lolos Joe (9-4), who maintained his unbeaten record in the event when proving too strong all-round for Royal Patrol in beating that rival by a length and a half in 29.95sec. Ruthless Man was the third qualifier.
*Draw for Saturday’s £25,000 final (live on Sky Sports): 1 Star Head, 2 Ruthless Man, 3 Lolos Joe, 4 Devilacare, 5 Captain Scolari, 6 Royal Patrol (m).
At Shelbourne Park, the semi-finals of the Sporting Press Irish Oaks over 525 yards were won by John O’Flynn’s Milldean Tally in 28.64sec and Graham Holland’s Cabra Millie in 28.67sec.
*Draw for Saturday’s final: 1 Milldean Tally 2 Tantallons Kay 3 Cabra Millie 4 Rockburst Delta 5 Millbank Lola 6 Solo Star (m)
In the UK, Sunderland’s trial stakes for the forthcoming William Hill Festival of Racing were blighted by extremely slow going which perhaps led to Kelly Macari’s Mill Maximus failing by a short-head to hold George Oswald’s rallying Endova Rossi in a 450m contest won in 28.58sec.
Macari did get on the scoresheet with Mill Hercules (28.57sec), the other 450m winner was Darren Cowell’s Yahoo Ned (28.72sec) while the 640m contest went to Lenny Troughton’s Mays Stewart in 41.51sec.