Belfast Telegraph

Catherines Drico destroys Shelbourne field to land 10 'big ones'

By Robert Fenton

Catherines Drico is the best sprinter in Ireland and the blue and white dog proved it in emphatic style by picking up a cool €10,000 for Armagh owner Shea Campbell on the Night Of Stars at Shelbourne Park, which also saw other successes for northern owners.

Drico, handled by Hillsborough's Ronnie McKeown, absolutely destroyed the opposition in the Open 350.

From trap one, the 6/4 favourite flew out and took complete command in winning by three and a half lengths in 18.81 on a surface rated 20 spots slow which meant the time was a flying 18.61.

This is the dog's second major success in a month, having previously picked up €5,000 in taking the Fair Warrior Open Sprint in Mullingar and, before that, was a beaten finalist in Dundalk's prestigious Irish Sprint won by Slipalong Hero who was third behind Catherine's on Saturday night.

Another 10 'big ones' went to Newry's Brendan Matthews courtesy of Leave At Dawn. The son of Foleys Folley showed great early pace and beat the well-backed Laughil Duke a length and a half in he Open 575, clocking 31.51 (.50 slow).

And Brendan came close to landing a second top prize when Cable Bay was run out in the closing stages of the Open 600.

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Earlier, Belfast's Harry Sharpe saw his talented bitch Greenhill Pearl land a major punt when victorious in the Open Bitch Puppy event (525).

The daughter of Vans Escalade, unluckily beaten twice at Drumbo, hit the ground running from trap one and when challenged halfway down the far side, pulled away for a consummate triumph by three lengths in 28.84 (.25 slow).

The weather was appalling at Drumbo but it still produced some fine displays, none better than the super sprint run from the Gary Silcock-trained Santro Cruz.

Blasting out, Cruz clocked a fast 18.02 which equated to 17.92 because of the conditions. It was the first leg of a good double for the Lurgan trainer as Santro Rossi followed up with an all-the-way victory over 525 in his first race at the track.

Endova Fox continues on his winning ways for Larne trainer Joe Blair. Another top performance saw the white and black dog land his fifth win on the bounce and eighth this year after recovering for a serious injury. He mastered Clonleigh Boy by a length in 18.34 and is now in the running for picking up most wins in the 2015 at Drumbo.

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