Belfast Telegraph

Margaret's Common aim for £5,000 Gold final at Drumbo

By Robert Fenton

With £5,000 up for grabs, the Tennents Gold Cup final should pack them into Drumbo Park tonight, backed up by a very competitive programme which includes three semi-finals of the Jackie McCann Memorial 525.

Main focus is on the biggest race of the year at the track and it features six top-class contenders headed by Common Man and Shutthe Backdoor, both of whom have won their two previous heats.

The latter was a semi-finalists in the Irish Derby as was Blue Cafu who wears the black cover for Magherafelt's Joe Hurley but he was beaten in no uncertain terms by Common Man in last week's semi-final.

Common Man, trained by Dundonald's Margaret Campbell for partner John Shaw, has been a revelation since joining this in-form kennel and the manner of his two wins were simply superb in very fast times of 28.53 and 28.56. He runs from trap three and if leading around that vital first bend, can drive on to victory and the big prize.

But none of sex runners can be ruled out. Longford's Pat Quinn was delighted with trap one for his Drumsna Castle, hoping that the advantage of the inside box, will see him reverse the form with Shutthe Backdoor who was four and a half lengths better last week. Ian Reilly's Quietly is another fast starter and he's inside Common Man which means there is no room for error. Overall, an intriguing contest but Common Man is taken to get the better of Shutthe Backdoor.

In the McCann semi-finals, look out for the bitch pup Greenhill Pearl. She ran a cracker in defeat after early trouble, losing out by a diminishing half-length in 28.95. That was her first race for Belfast's Harry Sharpe and she is confidently expected to make amends in the second heat from Danesrath Oscar.

Belfast Telegraph

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