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Punters hit for six in Joe Dunne semis.

Byline: Michael Fortune

THE Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy Stake produced two 6-1 upset semi-final winners at Shelbourne on Saturday, writes Michael Fortune.

In the first the Ron Graffinowned Mutual Decision got away smartly and never saw another runner as she raced home in a smart 29.12sec. She led up from Hats My Diamond and Swords Spitfire and was two and a half lengths in front at the third bend.

From there the leader moved away and crossed the line a most impressive four and a half lengths winner from Hats My Diamond, with Leap Of Faith running on strongly to grab third on the line from Swords Spitfire.

Melodys Royal was a hot favourite for the second semi but a slow start left him struggling on the run-up as Crossfield Jet led from Big Bam. Pa Fitzgerald's dog was in third spot heading into the far side where Crossfield Jet enjoyed a three-length advantage.

The field closed right up into the third but it was still Crossfield Jet just in front from Big Bam and Melodys Royal just behind. The Bam Gang Syndicate's Big Bam hit the front on the run-in and just held Melodys Royal by a short-head in 29.20sec, with Black Cyclone a length third.

Nicky Turner sent out Robert Bennett's Tag Along Jim to win the EUR800 FFK Sires Open 525 final in 29.17sec. This was all down to early pace as Tag Along Jim overpowered Classical Beauty to the bend and was four lengths clear into the back.

Dundrum Rocket closed to the third bend but the leader railed tightly and raced on determinedly for a length and a half margin.

Draw for Saturday's Joe Dunne Memorial Puppy Stake final: 1 Big Bam, 2 Hats My Diamond, 3 Mutual Decision, 4 Leap Of Faith (m), 5 Black Cyclone (m), 6 Melodys Royal (w).
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2011
Words:310
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