Borna saves best for last in Ladbroke 600.
BORNA PILOT finally got it right in a major final when winning the EUR20,000 Ladbrokes 600 decider at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night - and he did so in the most emphatic manner possible.
With the fitness doubts surrounding Topofthebest, Tall Chubby became a strong favourite on the night and was backed into 6-4 before reaching 7-4 at the off. But the favourite never got into it after making a very slow start and then experiencing some trouble in running.
From traps it was Crossleigh Lark who showed in front, but halfway to the bend Borna Pilot, who had made his best start of the competition, surged to the front and we immediately knew that the race was as good as over.
Borna Pilot led into the bend by a length and a half from Heavenly Hero with Crossleigh Lark a close third and Tall Chubby now just behind her on the outside. However he lost ground around the corner and was last entering the back-straight.
By now Borna Pilot was a couple of lengths ahead of Heavenly Hero and it was a similar distance to Crossleigh Lark in third. Heavenly Hero tried his utmost to get on terms, but in the end he was himself just edged out of second by the gallant Crossleigh Lark.
Borna Pilot's winning margin was two lengths in a brilliant 32.42sec, thus making him the second fastest dog ever over the distance. Crossleigh Lark had a neck in hand of Heavenly Hero and it was two and a half lengths to Topofthebest in fourth.
Ruairi Dwan, who bred, owns and trains Borna Pilot, indicated that he may give the dog one or two one-off races before giving him a break.
He said: "This was his fifth final of the year and he really deserved to win one. I'd been hopeful in the Derby, but it all went wrong when he got a touch of sickness just beforehand and he was never really right through that competition.
"But he'd run well during this, and I was surprised that many deserted him in the final. I think he has finally grown up, he seemed to thrive at home this week, and he certainly came away better tonight.
"I would be interested in running him in the Masters at Waterford if he got into the race - we'll just have to wait and see. I certainly wouldn't be frightened of going back to 525 or 550 yards, especially if he continues breaking like this. However, next year the Euro Off-track 600 would be his early season target."
Many punters were bitterly disappointed with Tall Chubby, but his missed break was a crucial blow for a dog who had led up in all the previous rounds. He was reported okay yesterday.
Borna Pilot (T3) surges clear into the first bend ahead of Heavenly Hero (T1), Crossleigh Lark (T4), Tall Chubby (T6), Topofthebest (T5) and Duffys Hurricane (T2) in the 600 final