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Billy blasts into the reckoning for Laurels.

IRISH Sprint Cup finalist Knockglass Billy was the star turn on a night full of stars as the first round of the Red Mills Irish Laurels was run at Curraheen Park on Saturday, writes Michael Fortune.

Graham Holland's dog showed he is tailor-made for the circuit with a truly explosive performance.

A sizzling burst of pace saw him go clear around the bend while the favourite Camas Crash was having all sorts of trouble handling the track, and the race was as good as over. Knockglass Billy raced away to win by an impressive nine lengths from Vegas Strip in a brilliant 28.15sec.

For once Ballymac Vic didn't go off favourite when he ran in heat 11, with Confident Rankin preferred in the market. That assessment appeared correct when Confident Rankin broke fast, but he was passed to the bend by Sede Vacante. As the pair sorted themselves out on the corner, Ballymac Vic shot past and raced away to win by four lengths in an excellent 28.27sec.

Paul Hennessy had a fine double, with Liveanddangerous marginally the fastest. He was only third down the far side as defending champion Razldazl Rioga made the running, but finished with a flourish to win by three parts of a length in 28.36sec.

In the previous race Hennessy's Money Talks showed himself to be a live contender as he flew to the bend and never saw a rival, coming home four and a half lengths to the good from Black Warrior in 28.37sec. vvDraw for Saturday's second round, heat 1 1 Cuil Cougar 2 Black Warrior 3 Money Talks 4 Cashen Mafuma 5 Blue Jet Sky 6 Sunvalley John.

Heat 2 1 Tafari 2 Newlawn Tock 3 Droopys Delfino 4 Sede Vacante 5 Broadstand Dan 6 Direct Customer. Heat 3 1 Power Of God 2 Fleetwood Saki 3 Ashfield Impact 4 Knockglass Billy 5 Quail Hollow 6 Sawdust Terry (w).

Heat 4 1 Cambushmore 2 Bua Tommy 3 Happy Hermit 4 Confident Rankin 5 Fast Fit Dan 6 Vegas Strip.

Heat 5 Cottonmouth 2 In The Meantime 3 Razldazl Rioga 4 Alberta Bound 5 Camas Crash 6 Tinas Nova.

Heat 6 Allen Master 2 Ballymac Vic 3 Shaneboy Spencer 4 Madam Shaw 5 Killinan Cash 6 Elle Driver (w).

Heat 7 1 Shaneboy Felix 2 Boherna House 3 Dusseldorf 4 Vedfield Emperor 5 Lachteens Shaw 6 Richies Wish. Heat 8 1 Murrali Junior 2 Liveanddangerous 3 O Garney Rock 4 Forty Winks 5 Prima Vera (m) 6 Ballybough Hawke (w).

Irish Laurels Paddy Power: 7-2 Ballymac Vic, 5 Cuil Cougar, 7 Confident Rankin, Razldazl Rioga 8 Knockglass Billy, 10 Quail Hollow, 12 Money Talks, 14 Camas Crash, Cashen Mafuma, Liveanddangerous, Newlawn Tock, 16 Boherna House, Cambushmore, 20 Power Of God, 25 Allen Master, Sede Vacante, Shaneboy Spencer 33 bar.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2012
Words:470
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