It's double joy for Corr as Tell On Blackie hits jackpot at Drumbo
Santa came bearing two gifts for Coalisland's Michael Corr at Drumbo Park in the final major race of the year.
Not only did he see his Tell On Blackie lift the trophy and £1,200 in the final of the Robert Connolly Memorial Tri-Distance (575), his dog also collected £200 after being named the best bitch in the event.
Headed close home in the semi-finals by Bandicoot Joshua, Blackie took her revenge when it mattered. Fast out of trap four, the favourite Surprize Pup was slow into his stride and was well behind going down the far side as Tell On continued to cut out the pace.
Bandicoot made a rapid move but Quare Maid, on his inside, forced Joshua to check and that's all Blackie needed to kick on and win by half a length from Bandicoot with the fast-finishing Pup only a further head adrift in third after coming from another parish. Winning for the second time in only four races, Blackie clocked 32.14 seconds.
Bangor Lily brought the curtain down on 2017 with a scintillating run. The race looked a match between the Northern Ireland Oaks winner and Fane Zeema, who went off 4/5 favourite having got the better of Lily the previous week.
Both came away smartly but it was Lily, owned by Newry's Brian Larkin, who shot the bend better and once in front, took off down the far side, setting a sectional time of 16.38 and romping home three and a half lengths in front of Zeema (28.46 seconds).
At Shelbourne Park, Newry's Barney Mooney and Martin White saw their bitch Mrs Chippy claim the €7,000 Christmas Oaks final from Trinity Sadara in a very fast 28.29 seconds (525).