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Winnie's Queen of Drumbo in crowning glory of final

By Robert Fenton

Olwinn Queen went into the Martin Lavery Pet Foods & DTC final, a warm favourite to take the £400 prize for Castledawson owner Winnie O'Neill at Drumbo Park and duly delivered .

The Queen clocked a brilliant 29.07 in her semi-final and that saw her go into the decider odds-on but early on, backers were of a nervous disposition. She did not come away with any sharpness and was only third going round the first two bends as Uppa Murph kicked on and opened up a comfortable lead down the far side.

Nut Hill Vixen was in the mix and turning for home, Olwinn still had plenty to do but on the home stretch, her stamina came into play and she prevailed by a cosy two and a half lengths from Murph with Vixen half-a-length back in third (29.62) on a surface rated 20 spots slow.

Two semi-finals of a sprint competition under the same sponsorship, saw Derry dog Lissane Impact put his mark on the event with a solid display despite a slow start.

Owned by Daniel Ward, Lissane had the gears to reach the first bend in front of Shawdeco Hunter and Camlin Eagle and went on to hold Mucho Macho Mick by half-a-length with Hunter qualifying in third.

The first 'semi' was reduced to four runners and it was Big Baby who came off best, coming through on the inner to beat Mucho Macho Emma a length with Nut Hill Martin back in third (18.30).

Beaming Bully came back to winning form for Banbridge trainer Michael Taggart and owner Paul Ryan in the penultimate heat of a £400 A4 Dual Distance (525/550) with Astra Promise second.

Coalisland-based Melvin Charm followed up his success at this level the previous week coming through with a decisive challenge, proving three lengths better than Meenagh (29.16).

Strong stayer Whistling Brandy is also in the final, the black dog owned by Tyrone pair Colin Admason and Gerard Hamill, removing his maiden tag at the fifth attempt. He hit the front at the third bend and defeated Drumna Sun by four and a half lengths (29.10).

Belfast Telegraph

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