Michael Fortune

Skywalker Logan claimed a so richly deserved first classic success at Mullingar on Saturday night when powering home to land the €7,000 Larry Clancy Memorial Cesarewitch.

In victory he was handing Pat Guilfoyle a third win in the Mullingar classic following the on from his dual winner Definate Opinion in 2010 and 2011.  

It could have been very different, however, as disaster nearly struck on more than one occasion for supporters of Ray Patterson’s brilliant son of Tarsna Havana and Sizzling Sarah. After making a reasonable start from trap two, Skywalker Logan, the 5-4 favourite, took a bump from the inside runner Mean Beauty but shook it off with minimum fuss.

Leading up on the inside of the track Skywalker Logan looked perfectly positioned approaching the turn, but the 6-4 second favrouite Totos Park then flew up on the outside to lead on the bend. Cutting across the field, Totos Park took a slight bump from Vaguely Noble but continued to seek a rails pitch.

Skywalker Logan was forced to check wide and this cost him his favourable position. He had gone from disputing the lead into the turn to sitting four lengths behind the pace in third as they entered the back straight.

Totos Park continued to lead the field down the back straight but he was being strongly challenged by Vaguely Noble. Passing halfway, Skywalker Logan began to move through the gears in third and started to close rapidly on the front two.

By the third turn Vaguely Noble had joined and headed Totos Park, but now Skywalker Logan was on his inner and looking likely to drive his way to the front. Again disaster nearly struck as he stood on the brakes to allow Vaguely Noble go on by couple of lengths.

Had Skywalker Logan thrown away his chance? Thankfully for his followers, the powerful galloper had a final ace up his sleeve. Vaguely Noble drifted slightly off the final bend allowing Skywalker Logan move up his inside again. Once doing so there was no stopping the favourite. He used his ground devouring stride to great effect on the run in, powering clear of Vaguely Noble to eventually hit the line an ever-increasing three and a half lengths clear in 33.40. There was a further four length gap to Totos Park in third.