One could be forgiven for confusing the second round results of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup for the opening round.
Not only did Serene Ace post the fastest time of the round for the second week running but young handler Adam Dunford also recorded his second hat trick of the classic.
ACE BY NAME, ACE BY NATURE
Serene Ace set the tone for a tremendous night of racing. Flashing Willow was again amongst his rivals but he couldn’t land a glove on Serene Ace.
The Michael O’Donovan trained speedster rocketed to the bend, posting a scarcely believable 6.89.
In doing so, he set a blistering gallop throughout. Flashing Willow also went under seven seconds, recording 6.99 but could never get back on terms. Serene Ace stayed on well to record 20.96, seeing off Flashing Willow by two and a half lengths. Black Matador was a further five and a half lengths adrift in third.
REECE INITIATES THE DUNFORD TREBLE
Adam Dunford certainly has his team firing on all cylinders at present and Fantasy Reece, Fantasy Jesse and Shancol Johnny again emerged triumphant in their respective heats to hand the southern based handler a second hat trick in seven days.
Fantasy Reece got the ball rolling in Heat 4, seeing off just three rivals following the withdrawal of Off The Pitch and Beepers Cian. Leslie Coveney’s Fantasy Reece held a narrow lead over De Los Santos into the turn but, with the inside line in his favour, he increased his advantage into the straight before easing on to score by four and a half lengths in 21.12. De Los Santos was second with Knock area Syd just a half-length away in third.
JOHNNY RUNS OUT A GOOD WINNER
The second leg of the Dunford came just fifteen minutes later with Shancol Johnny running out a tremendous winner.
His task was made somewhat easier with the absence of Gizmo Cash but he still had to get the better of a persistent Westside Frank.
The latter actually held a narrow advantage into the turn but Shancol Johnny took over at this point. Once going to the front between the two bends, the young son of Ballymac Best and Solas An Iarthar eased on to eventually see off Westside Frank by two lengths in 21.16. Ross Dame chased home the pair in third, a further three and a quarter lengths adrift.
JESSE COMPLETES THE HAT TRICK
Adam Dunford completed his treble in the final heat as Fantasy Jesse emerged on top.
A brother to Fantasy Reece, he completed a double for owner Leslie Coveny as he challenged into the turn before getting the better of Zoom.
It was a decisive maneouvre. Maintaining a strong gallop to the line, Fantasy Jesse emerged a two length scorer over Zoom in 21.05. Benalmadena Roxy was a further three and a quarter lengths adrift in third.
OZARK BREAKS 21
Hawkfield Ozark was the only other runner, after Serene Ace, to break the 21 second barrier as he came home a wide margin winner of Heat 3 for Keeley McGee and owner Jerry Connors.
A length to the good into the corner, he skipped around in front, avoiding opening bend traffic that affected most of the field.
Thirtynine Winks emerged from the pack to take second but Hawkfield Ozark was clear into the home straight and went on to cross the line six and three quarters of a length to the good in a very quick 20.99. There was an almost five length gap back to Beepers Chris in third.
Manuone atoned for an opening round short head defeat by winning Heat 2 in fine style for Tony Maxwell.
The son of Droopys Sydney and Shirocco Star was a close second into the turn behind Cape Cloud but he took over at that point and never looked back.
Powering clear on the run in, the September ’19 whelp went on to win by three and a quarter lengths over Corbrack Prince in 21.20. Cape Cloud was just a short head adrift in third.
Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup
Quarter final draw
1 FANTASY REECE
2 DROOPYS GRAVY
3 SERENE ACE
4 MAJESTAS MATE
5 DE LOS SANTOS (M)
6 FLASHING WILLOW (W)
1 KNOCKNAREA SYD
2 SHANCOL JOHNNY
3 BLACK MATADOR
5 ROSS DAME (M)
6 THIRTYNINE WINKS (W)
1 BURROW PANTHER
2 FANTASY JESSE
3 RUNNINTA SHAY
4 MUSTANG JOEY
5 MANALISHI CHIEF (M)
6 MANUONE (W)
1 CAPE CLOUD
2 CORBRACK PRINCE
3 BEEPERS CHRIS
4 BENALMADENA ROXY (M)
5 HAWKFIELD OZARK (M)
6 WESTWIDE FRANK (W)