Bangor Lily blossoms to triumph impressively in semi-final
Bangor Lily blossomed in the second semi-final of the Hee Haws Sheriff and Stud Northern Ireland Oaks, clocking 28.39, the fastest time of the year over 525 yards.
Lily, who went off at 2/1, bolted out, beating Solution into the first turn before pulling well clear down the far side.
A black bitch owned by Newry's Brian Larkin, she was eight lengths better than Solution, who was having her first outing since last April. The vital third qualifying third spot went to Abbylea Rocket.
Explosive early running saw 6/4 favourite Baltovin Maxi record a brilliant 28.57 in the second semi. The black bitch is a 17.81 sprint winner and one could see why as from trap six, she flew out and hit the turn ahead of Peace N Milan and Take The Call.
Maxi, a blue bitch owned by Dungannon's Aiden Cullen, clocked 16.22 sectional, but between the last two bends found Call cutting back a healthy leeway. Take The Call was strong in the finish but Maxi held on for a half-length victory with Tycoon Gadget running on to snatch third spot.
Meanwhile, Graham Holland's Clares Rocket continues to set the pace in the BoyleSports Irish Derby, winning his second round in a blistering 29.15.
Holland also had winners courtesy of Sonic, Clonbrien Hero (29.41) and Droopys Cabaye (29.51) as the Tipperary-based trainer continues his bid for a second successive Derby. Other Holland qualifiers are Drive On Tip, Kiss And Hug, Sidarian Fern, Impressive Guy, Black Farren, Clona Kid and Hovex Mick.
The only northern-owned runner still in the €150,000 event is Brendan Matthews' Cable Bay, who finished second behind Typical Ash and now takes on impressive winner Tyrur Harold in heat two of next Saturday's third round.