Kilkenny trainer Murt Leahy enjoyed more big-race success in Cork on Saturday night as Ballybough Champ ran out a most deserving winner of the €4,500 Deadly Kennels Open 750 final, writes Orla Strumble.
The 6-4 second choice of the punters came away well from trap five and the Murt Leahy-trained runner was in pole position early on.
Owned by Pat Carroll, the impressive winner came into the final unbeaten and he had to dig deep throughout as favourite Magical Poppy was showing a lot of pace after getting away to a poor start.
Ballybough Champ stayed on strongly throughout and he crossed the winning line with a length and a half to spare over Magical Poppy, in 41.76. Almighty Paddy kept on best for third, two lengths behind the runner-up.
A couple of minutes earlier at Shelbourne Park, Raha Mofo ran out a brilliant winner of the opening semi-final of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks for Marissa Molloy and Murt Leahy.
Rarely has an Oaks semi-final been over so early but once the powerful daughter of Droopys Sydney and Clares Queen came away racing from trap three to lead the field in the early yards, there was never going to be any other winner and she has now booked her spot in the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks Final.