Triple injury blow for Ginger McGee
Ecstasy for some and agony for others in the semi-finals of the £5,000 Caledonia Smooth Gold Cup – the final is on Saturday – on a night when Ginger McGee lost three top class dogs to injury.
Atitboy had supporters purring with a tremendous 28.31 seconds victory in the first heat, winning by eight lengths from McGee's Work Me Lord.
Trained by Hillsborough's Ronnie McKeown, Atitboy put himself firmly in the driving seat to lift the prize on Saturday with the fastest run of the year for 525.
Trainer McGee earlier saw his brilliant sprinter Bulmers Baby suffer a broken hock when having the second semi-final of the Tennents Open sprint at her mercy.
Then came a phone call to tell McGee his Jaxx On Fantasy, winner of the Northern Irish Derby at Drumbo, had also endured a career-finishing injury when well clear in a major race in Waterford.
Worse was to come when his runner Graduation Day, the joint-favourite with eventual winner Aero Nemesis in the second Gold Cup semi-final, broke down.