Fanfare for Common Man as Margaret nets a Drumbo Park double
Dundonald trainer Margaret Campbell is establishing a reputation for improving young dogs and she was on the mark at Drumbo on Saturday night with two eye-catching successes.
Top laurels go to the black dog Common Man who put in a tremendous display on his first show at the track over 525, clinching surprisingly only his second win in 14 races, the other coming down in Tralee.
Common Man came away from trap four and was first into the turn in front of Borna Alert. He quickly burst clear going down the far side and stormed home nine lengths clear of Choctaw Blue in a very fast 28.80 on a surface rated 20 spots slow. There is much more to come from this fellow who can go far.
Raparee, bought off the internet by Margaret's partner John Shaw who also owns the Common dog, was like the latter, having his first outing here and only the third of his career, staying on impressively in clocking a calculated 28.92.
He just made the first bend ahead of Business Trio who was quick away, the pair nudging each other on the turn. Meister soon proved the master as he kicked on down the far side and held Trio by two lengths at the finish.
After the first round of the Boylesports Irish Derby, worth €125,000 to the winner, English Derby finalist Farloe Blitz, owned by Derry's Paul Ellis, showed all his great early pace to win heat 11 (550) in a solid 29.60 secs. Fast out of trap one, he was soon well clear and despite easing in the closing stages, had six and a half lengths to spare over Good News John.
Other northern contenders still there include the Brendan Matthews' Newry trio Leave At Dawn, Cable Bay and Shutthefrontdoor. . The former won his heat easily by three lengths in 29.77 while Cable qualified in third behind Urban Gossip, beaten four lengths and Shutthefrontdoor came home two and a half lengths behind leading fany Rural Hawaii (29.65).
Sean Hagan's Dugnanon runner Mucho Macho Man opened in good style, successful in 29.77, while Eamon Hagan's Footfield Flash came in as a reserve and made the second round when a close fourth in the heat won by Lemon Miley in 30.24.