A flying Irish raider, defeat for the one of the leading fancies and a harsh disqualification were the high and low lights of the first round of the Betfred Gymcrack.
Heat 1 saw a dramatic first appearance of an Irish trained runner in Kinsley’s Category One event and Peter Cronin’s Cometwopass (Ballymac Eske-Zero Two, Jun 15) certainly did not disappoint. The 4-7f bombed away from trap four in a ‘fastest of day’ 5.11 sectional before recording the fastest 462 of the day – 27.16 (TR 27.02). He would be followed hom by Barricane Merlin (T3 5-1) and Artic Lightning (T5 5-2). The distances
Heat 2 saw the reappearance of the fastest sprinter at Nottingham, The Other Billy (Razldazl Jayfkay-The Other Peach, Jul 15). Running from red, Pat Rosney’s 6-4f was always in control after a 5.13 sectional. The 27.43 winner would be followed home by Droopys Georgio (T4 4-1) and Sylvias Chloe (T2 9-2), the distances two and a short head.
Heat 3 produced a third consecutive winning favourite in Julie Bateson’s red jacketed Ballymac Healy (Drumcrow Obama-Coolavany Gem, Sep 15). Fast up (5.17) alongside Our Duchess (T5 6-1), the 11-10f pulled clear and was followed home by Swift Chaser (T3 10-1) and Mickey Blitz (T4 25-1).
Heat 4 saw the controversial disqualification of Blackstone Ollie (Ballymac Vic-Blackstone Minnie, Aug 15). Running from T4 and starting at 11-4, the black led at the first bend and looked very novicey around the second, as he appeared to lose his stride and hamper favourite Forest Chunk (T5). Wildfire Lord (T6) went past Rosney’s runner along the backstraight though the latter rallied and ran on for a 27.66 short head victory over Smoothreaction (T1 4-1) with Lord back in third. Following the race, the stewards disqualified the winner though many reviewing the race video would struggle to identify the moment of ‘deliberate interference’ under rule 53.
Heat 5 went to another front running favourite, in this case the black jacketed 9-4 chance, Dower Forgold (Zero Ten-Brickfield Lee, Jul 15). Phil Simmonds’ runner popped away in a 5.15 sectional and would be followed home by Bit View Colin (T5 3-1) and Barricane Jack (T2 11-4). The winner’s time was 27.45 and the distances, a nod under five lengths.
Heat 6 featured many people’s view of the eventual winner in Farloe Thor (T2 4-5f) and Peter Cronin’s second Irish entry Angry Man (T3 7-4). But both would struggle in a race that went to the red jacketed 7-2 shot King Elvis (Tullymurry Act-Skate On, Oct 15). Elvis and Young Lord crossed the line first time in 5.23, before the former took up the running and went on to win by a length and a half in 27.78. The favourite finished third.