Catherines Drico, Hillcroft Hero and Tremount Blue carry a three-pronged northern bid into the final of the Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup (400) at Dundalk on Sunday .
Hillcroft, owned by Tyrone's Pat Corrigan and trained south of the border by Tyrone-born John McGee, won the second semi-final from Sarah Robinson's Coalisland sprinter Trewmount Blue.
Hero had four lengths in hand (21.15), leading up and running on strongly. Slipalong Hero was third while the English Derby finalist Tynwald Bish bowed out after being baulked on the first bend.
Drico, trained by Hillsborough's Ronnie McKeown for Armagh owner Shea Campbell, reached the decider after finishing third behind the impressive Trinity Forest in the opening semi-final. The pair went off 2/1 joint-favourites but the Limerick-based Trinity who has yet to taste defeat in the competition, had too much early pace and won by a length from Blenhiem Cracker with Catherines a further two and a half back in third. The brindle clocked a very fast 21.08 and will start a worthy favourite in the final.
Meanwhile at Drumbo on Saturday night, Causeway Jet, owned by Ballymena's Helen Morrison, caught the eye in his first sprint race.
A locally bred pup by former Drumbo classy tracker Star Head owned by Antrim's Brian Macklin out of Causeway Crisp, he showed plenty of ability on his debut and looks a bright prospect.
Only 22 months old, he came in with two nice Derry trials and made a fast start from Killahara Molly who also ran well on her first show at this venue following a Derry success.
Molly couldn't match the early pace of the Jet who came home three lengths clear in a smart 18.19 secs, the fastest sprint win of the night.
The Bar One Racing Irish Sprint Cup final line-up in trap order is: Slipalong Hero, Blenhiem Cracker, Trinity Forest, Trewmount Blue, Catherines Drico, Hillcroft Hero.