Belfast Telegraph

Seamus provides a winning tribute to old pal Charlie's memory at Drumbo

 

By Robert Fenton

Ballymoney Lass produced a great start to the inaugural Charlie Magill £1,000 Memorial 525 event at Drumbo Park.

The late, sadly missed Charlie, a Larne man, was a great patron of the track and a gentleman to his finger tips, he would have been delighted by the performance of the fawn bitch who is handled by his old Carnlough buddy Seamus Morgan.

Lass got the better of Mucho Macho Emma into the first bend and soon moved clear down the far side.

She looked all over the winner but turning for home, Emma rattled home up the inside and put it up to Ballymoney big time, but the latter just held on by a diminishing neck in an excellent 28.79 secs. Pookies Arrow stayed on four lengths behind Mucho to qualify in third place.

Dungannon's Jim Hughes saw his black dog Away Soon land his first win since January but the unlucky runner in heat two was Cathal Toy owned by Larne's Joe Blair, another great friend of Charlie.

Toy broke best from Express Lisa and Soon who nipped between the pair turning the pair to go clear on the far side. Cathal rallied to be in a challenging position at the third bend but was forced to check. Staying on, he got to within a length of the winner in 29.14 with Lisa two lengths further back in third.

Robbies Cheetah made all in taking heat three for Belfast's Terry McDonagh. From trap one, he led Cals Story and Make It up and they finished in that order. The black dog had three lengths to spare from Cals with Make It - also from the Joe Blair kennels - a further four and a half behind in a sharp 28.96 seconds.

Swift Pomensis gave Hillsborough trainer Marina McKeown victory in heat four. The fawn bitch was in front turning the first bend where Eager Silver took a bump before running on for third.

The biggest challenge to Pomensis came from the slow-starting Joe Blair-trained On Display who chased the leader down the far side and loomed large at the third bend before checking. He ran on but was four lengths adrift of Swift in 29.06, giving Joe three in next Saturday's semi-finals.

Indian Dancer soon had them strung out as he triumphed in the Dual-Distance final over 550 yards, landing £400 for Ballymoney owner-trainer Stephen McCooke.

Hitting out from trap three, his semi-final conqueror and favourite, Surprize Pup, lost his chance when missing the break.

Dancer, a blue dog, had Tornaroy Thor and Tanderagee Lad chasing him in vain while Pup stayed on well to take third spot, beaten only two lengths after that terrible start. But take nothing away from Indian, a nice winner in 30.35 seconds.

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