Belfast Telegraph

John Byrne's Free run to £1,200 Drumbo final win

By Robert Fenton

Free Falling was a brilliant winner of the Robert Connolly Tri-Distance final over Drumbo Park's 575 yards on Saturday night, earning Co Armagh owner John Byrne, the £1,200 prize.

An all-the-way winner over 550 in the semi-finals, the black son of Droopys Scolari did the same again, justifying market support as 6/4 favourite. Quick away from the inside runner Chubbys Gooch, he was well clear turning the first two bends and down the far side with Dunquin Lad getting bowled over.

It was just a question of whether the field would come back but it wasn't to be especially when Chubbys pulled up before running on again.

As expected, Cooladerry Role stayed on and took second place two and a half lengths ahead of Irey Debby but six lengths behind the winner who clocked 31.75 secs.

The final was backed by some notable performances, one of which saw the highly promising youngster Greenhill Gem take the Bitches Stakes initially for A3 and A4 grades, in a superb 28.74 secs, an A1 time in only her third race.

Owned and trained by Harry Sharpe, this daughter of Central City and Ballyhill Beauty, is a litter sister to Greenhill City, a 17.90 sprint winner the previous night and subsequently sold.

This young lady overcame first-bend crowding to soar away and beat Hour Glass Lass six and a half lengths, and has a very bright future.

Fastest run of the night came from Brian Macklin's Barnish Panther in the last - a four-dog open 525. The blue dog stopped the watch at 28.50.

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