Saleen Abu wins Footfield Kennels sponsored cup at Brandywell

​There was a large crowd in attendance at Brandywell on Monday night for an eight race card and the highlight was the final of the Footfield Kennels sponsored cup.

Kearney's Galaxy who won the Kevin O’Kane Sprint in 16.80 with (from left) Darren & Dean Toland, Johnny Carlin, Kealan O’Kane, Shane Talbot, Kevin O’Kane & Orla Wray.
Kearney's Galaxy who won the Kevin O’Kane Sprint in 16.80 with (from left) Darren & Dean Toland, Johnny Carlin, Kealan O’Kane, Shane Talbot, Kevin O’Kane & Orla Wray.

The Christmas Cup race had been postponed ​but it was worth the wait in a highly competitive final.

As expected Bogger Molly was the even-money favourite to win the race after her excellent victory in the semi-final stages and there was also good support for China May and Meenagh Missile at 3/1 before the off.

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At traprise it was a level break but nearing the bend Saleen Abu, the outsider of the field at 6/1, took the lead and at that point there was trouble in behind with Meenagh Missile and Bogger Molly, both meeting difficulties along the back straight.

Mineola Fortress who won the last race in 16.68 with Tom Mullan.

At that stage in the race Saleen Abu was well clear but going into the third bend Meenagh Missile and Bogger Molly were now in the clear and making ground on the early leader.

Going into the home straight Saleen Abu still had a couple of lengths advantage but it looked as if she was in trouble.

However, she proved to be very game and pulled out a bit more and eventually held on to win by three quarters of a length in a time of 29.65 for the 525 yards!

It was an impressive win for the 6/1 outsider, sponsored by Martin Hagan, who will be one to watch.

La Rey won won the postponed Footfield Kennels Christmas Cup Consolation Final in 29.71 with (from left) Martin Hagan, trainer Michael Corr, John McGorry & Eamon Hagan.

Meenagh Missile finished second with pre-race joint favourite Bogger Molly the same distance back in third.

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After the race, delighted owner Oliver Canavan received his trophy and prize money. And the Co. Tyrone-based owner deserved this win as he has been a great supporter of the Brandywell track and a familiar face at the Lone Moor Road venue for many years.

Consolation Final

The rescheduled Christmas Cup consolation final was only a three dog race but but bookmakers could not separate La Rey and Old Fort Monaco. And it was evens each of two with Mineola Freddie the outsider at 3/1.

Beanos Snowflake who won the William Mullan 500 in 27.96 with (from left) Mark Canning, Tom Mullan and owner Colm Sweeney.
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At traprise it was La Rey who showed the best early pace and he lead up. Old Fort Monaco was second and Mineola Freddie was just behind but La Rey maintained the gallop and came home over three lengths clear in a time of 29.71 to gain some compensation for Tyrone based trainer Michael Corr who owned the runner-up Meenagh Missile in the final.

And in the last race on the card on Monday night it was great to see local owner Frank Barron and trainer Willie Mullan return with a winner.

Mineola Fortress was well beaten in his last two races at Dundalk but he showed great pace in this race and from trap six he never looked in danger winning by just under three lengths in a fast time of 16.68 at odds of 6/4.

Fifebhoy Shandy, who was 3-1 before the off, finished as runner-up while Sniper Ria was next in third.

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Elsewhere 7/4 favourite Beanos Snowflake won the William Mullan 500 in 27.96 for owner Colm Sweeney ahead of runner-up Titanic Jay and third placed Five Fifty Min.

The racing at the Brandywell track resumes on Monday night with the first race setting off at 8pm as normal.