THE opening round of The Curraheen Park open 575, four heats, took pride of place on the eleven race programme at Curraheen Park on Saturday where the final heat was won in a best of the round 31.12 by No Stranger.
After an impressive display over the trip here two weeks ago all eyes were on the Thomas O Donovan trained son of Droopys Jet-Volcano and he did not disappoint. Going by Ballymac Wisdom at the third bend he went in chase of the pacemaker Chasing Belfast and cutting down the deficit of five lengths half way down the home straight he then burst clear to have an extending four lengths in hand at the line.
The second heat was also won in impressive fashion by Beach Avenue in another great run of 31.18.
Duke De Janerio showed the way to the third bend but he had no answer to the run of the Paul Hennessy trained & Pat Healy, Meath owned winner who, really appreciating the trip, flew by on the outside between the bottom two bends and then drew right away in the closing stages to have seven lengths in hand at the line.
Heat one went the way of Witches Dallas in 31.63. Owned & trained by Liam Twomey, Midleton she outpaced the fast starting Cash Ready around the opening two bends, and then seeing the trip out to perfection, she came home with four lengths to spare over Lone Flash.
Three of the original line up Ballymac Juliet (1), Clona Mist (2) & Gaytime Milo (4) were non runners in heat three replaced by Edencurra Brae, Woodbrook Laurel and Carrigoon Risk respectively and it was the former Edencurra who landed the spoils in 31.72.
Owned by John Murray & Michael Spillane Enniskeane he came from off the pace to snatch victory by a short head from the long-time leader Rathcoole Fox.
Skylight Blake trained by Nicholas Walsh for The Skylight Syndicate, Dungarvan made light work of his task in an S0/1 sprint the son of Laughill Blake-Starcash Annie making every post a winning one in an excellent 17.67.
Sullane Daisy took the runner-up spot a length and a half away.
The strong running Hello Hammond caught the eye when taking the sixth, an A1, in a flying 28.57 giving Paul Hennessy the first leg of a fine double on the night.
Owned by Gerry & Miriam Meaney, Carlow he took over from Sporting Rita as they hit the back straight. Three lengths clear at the third bend he flew down the home straight extending his advantage to eight and a half lengths at the line.