Skywalker Puma fastest, Razldazl George through
Defending champ Razldazl George is back for the Ladbrokes Irish Derby final at Shelbourne on Saturday. He also reached last year's Wimbledon Derby decider.PICTURE: STEVE NASH
LADBROKES IRISH DERBY FINAL (draw for Saturday next):
1 RAZLDAZL GEORGE
2 SKYWALKER PUMA
3 CUIL COUGAR
4 TYRUR SUGAR RAY
5 COOLYKEREEN IMP
6 CAMAS (W)
Skywalker Puma and Cuil Cougar raced to victory in style in Saturday's semis of the 550 yards premier Classic.
Frances O’Donnell’s brilliant Skywalker Puma took the opening semi in style.
Well away from trap three, the favourite enjoyed a clear run to the opening turn with Airforce Diva stumbling on trap rise. And with both Razldazl Bugatti and Coolykereen Imp showing their usual bursts, that meant Sklywalker Puma got his much needed clear passage. Rounding the first two turns in third place, and on the heels of the leading duo, it was never really in doubt from then onwards.
Showing his renowned phenomenal pace down the back straight, he was soon in front. From there onwards, it was only a matter of how far and crossing the line, Skywalker Puma clocked 29.45sec, and was six and a half lengths ahead of the runner-up Camas, who was joined by Coolykereen Imp in next week’s Irish Derby with just a head separating the second and third.
The second semi-final was always going to be about early pace and that certainly proved the case when the Dolores Ruth trained Cuil Cougar flew from trap two and made all to win in an excellent 29.69sec.
He was chased into the bend by Tyrur Sugar Ray with Droopys Jet in close attendance. The latter pair bumped here and that effectively decided the contest. Suddenly Cuil Cougar was eight lengths clear into the back straight with Tyrur Sugar Ray back in second and defending champ Razldazl George now getting into the picture.
The pursuers did their utmost trying to get on terms, but Cuil Cougar was covering the ground out front and was home and hosed around the bottom bends. He stayed on well to win by four lengths from Tyrur Sugar with Razldazl George another two lengths back in third.
It was a terrific result for trainer Dolores Ruth and the Dazzling Syndicate as they got two of their runners through to the final with Conor Fahy supplying the runner-up.