Vanderbilt took off at Kilkenny on Friday evening to play a starring role in the semi finals of the Jag Building Services & KGOBA A1 Derby.
The second heat saw Ballybough Danny come home in front of Hello Hammond, in turn setting up a tremendous decider next Friday.
Lemon Nicky flashed from traps to set the pace in the early yards of the opening semi but Michelle Connolly’s Vanderbilt was right on his tail and he flew into the bend to join his rival. With the inside line in his favour, Vanderbilt took over from Lemon Nicky and quickly put daylight between himself and his pursuers.
By halfway, Vanderbilt had moved on by two lengths and the son of Laughil Blake and So Said Sarah increased his advantage to three lengths before the third turn. Lemon Nicky was now under pressure from the advancing Hollyhill Sonny in second.
The Karol Ramsbottom trained Vanderbilt had set sail for home, however, and he duly ran out a four length scorer in a very quick 28.73. Hollyhill Sony moved second at the final turn as Lemon Nicky drifted wide.
GARY HOLDS HAMMOND
The second heat provided an exciting finish with Pat Carrol’s Ballybough Gary holding the late charge of Hello Hammond.
Ballybough Carrol produced a similar maneouvre to Vanderbilt into the turn. Racing prominently, the son of Laughil Blake and Droopys Isabella made the most of an inside line to take charge on the bend.
He quickly moved on and was over three lengths to the good passing halfway. It was at this point that Hello Hammond started to move through the gears. Going second, he began to close on the leader.
The Murt Leahy trained Ballybough Gary had enough in hand, however, and he held the late flourish of Hello Hammond by a head in 28.89. Its All Over was a further length and a half adrift in third.
JAG BUILDING SERVICES & KGOBA A1 DERBY
Draw for Friday’s final
1 HOLLYHILL SONNY
2 BALLYBOUGH DANNY
3 HELLO HAMMOND
4 LEMON NICKY (M)
5 VANDERBILT (M)
6 ITS ALL OVER (M)