Ballyregan Jimmy (Tullymurry Act-Black Hopit, Nov 14) reversed five and a half lengths of form with track record holder Forest Chunk to land the Xmas 460 final at Henlow on Sunday.
In a final delayed by a week due to bad weather and a full second in going allowance – from +20 to -80 – the strong finishing Jimmy (4-1) took full advantage. The pair tracked Free Scolari to the bend before Chunk took up the running.
On faster going it might have been all over but a strong late surge saw Jimmy get up by a head in 28.10 (-80). Drumcrow Darcy ran on for third to give Kevin Hutton the £26 tricast.
The perf0rmance of the night though probably belonged to Master Kelly (Forest Master-Light Foot Molly, Aug 14) when winning the fastest heat of the 550 Midi in 34.44 (-120). The other qualifiers went to Roswell Romanov (34.57) and Windy Santos (35.22).
Hazel Kemp’s Kelly has now won his last six, and seven from his last eight races over course and distance.
His equivalent over the 428m trip is Carol Grasso’s Idle Talker (Droopys Scolari-Name Taker, Sep 14). Although, at his trainer’s insistence, he is better suited to a larger circuit, his 26.20 (-80) run was not only the fastest of the night, it was his ninth win (plus two second places) in his last dozen runs over c&d.
Three winners from six runners moved Carl Perry into joint fourth place alongside Charlie Lister OBE in the Sheffield open race winners table for 2017.
The pick of the trio, Geelo Zip (Ballymac Eske-Emers Ivy, Aug 15) was making her own statement with sixth open race victory of the year at Owlerton. She didn’t debut until June and also has four wins ‘on the road’.
Her 27.87 (-40) for the 480m run was a fraction off her personal best though it means she remains unbeaten over course and distance in five outings.
Also on six Sheffield open race wins for the year are: Candlelight Fire, Dropzone, Rappers Station, Worboro Spectre and Yahoo Benny.
Tony McKenna’s Coney Cactus (Kinloch Brae-Swift Palmer, Dec 15) went unbeaten through the £500 660m final with a narrow 39.85 victory.
While Colin Handford’s Sherlock (KC And All-Express Cara, Nov 15) followed up a 16.12 heat win in the 280m final with a 16.11 (-20) victory in the £500 decider.