Day At The Track

Blue Top Gun takes top honors at Ballygurteen

07:48 AM 13 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Harness racing Harness racing Chelsie O'Driscoll, harness racing Harness racing Newtown Amber, harness racing
Rhyds Solution leads Blue Top Gun at the second turn in the Top Grade Pace
David Shine photo
Winning connections of Billycoan Colt, winner of the Grade D Pace
David Shine photo
Jockey Chelsie O'Driscoll
David Shine photo
Winning connections of Coalford Bruce collect The Denis Dullea Memorial Cup
David Shine photo
Deirdre Goggin, who rode two winners at Ballygurteen, with Jack Manning and trainer of Newtown Amber, Liam O'Reagan
David Shine photo
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Blue Top Gun, who changed ownership and trainer since Durrus on New Years Day, took the top grade pace at Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races on Sunday.
Rhyds Solution set the early fractions with Blue Top Gun in company.The order remained to the first and second turns where market leader Ghengis Pride took a bad turn and lost ground. At the final turn Rhyds Solution and Blue Top Gun were locked in battle .
On the run to the finish it was all to play for but Jamie Hurley on Blue Top Gun got the upper hand and won by a length. There was pandemonium in the winners circle as joint owner Ger Cooke was carried shoulder high by the partisan local supporters who flooded in for the presentation .
"Myself and Ger Cooke bought him after Durrus and we changed tactics by using him earlier in the race and it worked a treat. We celebrate tonight and look forward to Skibbereen in two weeks time"said winning jockey and joint owner Jamie Hurley.
Deirdre Goggin was leading jockey on the day after riding a brace of winners.
Newtown Amber upset the odds in the Novice & Grade E Pace upstaging hotpot Captain Morgan by three lengths.
Goggin completed her double in the Grade C & D Pace on Saunders Picasso who had a facile victory making it three wins from as many starts leading home Lets Party by five lengths.
Billycoan Colt was another to have things his own way in the Grade D Pace .Garths Sharegar put it up to his more fancied rival but Matthew O Reilly always had the leader in his sights and took up the running after the last turn and eased down to an eight length win.The winner is owned by Dublin based Ned Stafford and trained locally by Chris O Reilly.
There was drama aplenty in the Grade E Pace. Coalford Bruce was away to a quick start and joint favorite Diplomatist went off stride in the early stages .Coalford Bruse led at both turns .Turning for home he remained clear but Diplomatist began to close and actually led with 200 meters to go but again lost stride and lost ground allowing Coalford Bruce to win by a length.
Next on the calendar is The Big Skibbereen Memorial Raceday on Sunday 26th January and already race goers are eagerly awaiting the top grade pace where Saunders Picasso will join the big boys in The Tim Cooper Kelleher Memorial Top Grade Pace.
by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink

Race 1: Novice / Grade E Trot.
1st: Newtown Amber, D. Goggin
2nd: Captain Morgan, M. O' Reilly
3rd: Cool Direct, T. Moloney
4th: Hint of Mist, C. O' Driscoll


Race 2: Grade E Trot.
1st: Coalford Bruce, T. Moloney
2nd: Diplomatist, M. O' Reilly
3rd: Splash the Cash, J. Hurley
4th: The Red Rebel, J. O' Driscoll


Race 3: Grade D Trot.
1st: Billycoan Colt, M. O' Reilly
2nd: Garths Sharegar, T. Moloney
3rd: Lyons Super Nova, D. Goggin


Race 4: Grade C Trot.
1st: Saunders Picasso, D. Goggin
2nd: Lets Party, A. Mc Carthy
3rd: Rhyds Dilemma, T. Moloney


Race 5: Grade A / B Trot.
1st: Blue Top Gun, J. Hurley
2nd: Rhyds Solution, T. O' Leary
3rd: Ghenghis Pride, C. O' Driscoll
4th: Kestrel Dot Sammy, J. O' Driscoll.


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