The Irish challenge were again in superb form at Towcester on Sunday afternoon with three of our six runners coming home in front in their respective English Derby Trial Stakes.
Romeo Hanzo and Jacktavern Bella handed Graham Holland a double while Jack Kennelly was also on the mark with Beepers Lariat coming home in front.
HANZO SETS THE TONE
Romeo Hanzo got the afternoon of to a flying start for Team Holland as he forced his way to the front on the bend in the opening heat.
The talented son of Romeo Recruit rode a couple of bumps to hold a narrow advantage into the back straight before easing on to see off his former kennel companion Newinn Ranger by two and a half lengths in 29.65.
BELLA IS BOUNCING
After impressing in her first look at the Towcester circuit, Jacktavern Bella duly maintained her unbeaten record at the venue when storming home to win the second trial stake in superb fashion, completing the Graham Holland double.
Going up strongly to sit second into the back straight behind Bellmore Lola, the daughter of Droopy Sydney slipped up the inside of the leader at the third turn before running right away to win by two and three quarter lengths in 29.23.
NO LUCK FOR PUNK
The last of Graham Holland’s trio of runners was Cryptopunk but he was out of luck in the third trial stake.
Going up strongly but finding traffic at both the opening and second bend. He eventually finished fourth.
LARIAT SHINS FOR KENNELLY
Jack Kennelly would have skipped out of Towcester with his three runners all performing very well, including Beepers Lariat who saw off a talented field in the eighth trial stake.
Despite missing the start, the rapidly improving son of Droopys Sydney flew up the fence to take charge on the bend.
Former track record holder Warzone Tom is very strong and ran on well to close on Beepers Lariat but the Irish raider ran right to the line to comfortably contain his pursuer by a neck in 29.22.
GRANDE RUNS WELL IN DEFEAT
While both Sogna In Grande and Sporting Montana didn’t win, both ran extremely well to finish second.
The former was prominent from the outset, chasing Havana Allblaze down the back straight before challenging on the run in. Bockos Palace flew home to lead in the closing yards to score in 29.24 but Sogna In Grande was a close second, beaten just a length and a quarter.
MONTANA GOES CLOSE
Sporting Montana went even closer three races later when setting a strong gallop for much of the way.
Dipping under the four second mark (3.99) for the opening sectional, the son of Ballymac Best led until the final strides only to be collared by the warm favourite Cashen Eliza. The winner stopped the clock in 29.34 with Sporting Montana failing by just a half-length.
Gaytime Nemo also trialed for Graham Holland ahead of racing.
The strong running tracker hasn’t been seen in action since early January but moved with real fluency in his trial, posting a very useful 15.78 for the sprint trip.