Offaly greyhound trainers secure eight winners in one week
With the Laurels in Cork and the Juvenile derby in Shelbourne getting to the business end of racing, in conjunction with a number of valuable sweepstakes getting underway, it was another great week for racing, including eight Offaly winners.
Early Week Racing
Monday, in Enniscorthy, we had the first round of the Horse and Hound open unraced stake. The Wexford track always has top class unraced stakes and only last spring a pup called Ordinary Joesoap was purchased after winning the first round of one, brought to England, named changed to Thorn Falcon and subsequently won the English Derby. Four heats went to post on Monday with Ballinabola Doll going fastest in 29.28 (20 slow, by two lengths, for Grainne Murphy and Aoibheann O’Leary with Brendan Murphy training.
In Shelbourne Park, on Tuesday, in the semi-finals of an ON2 unraced stake, Leah Said So won the first for Roberstown trainer Gerry Melia, in 29.24, by two lengths at 5/1. The second semi was much faster with the winner looking a bright prospect as Droopys Nestegg crossed the line in 28.46, by five lengths at 4/5, for Tyrone trainer Michael Taggart.
The first Offaly winner of the week as at the same meeting as Highview Faye won a semi-final of an A4 stake in 28.92 by two lengths at 2/1 for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman.
Kilkenny hosted the first round of a valuable A3 sweepstake with €11.5k up for grabs. Eight heats with two standout performances, Chachun Pot Star for Local trainer Murt Leahy in 29.32 by two lengths at 3/1 and Lemon Tossy for Tom Lennon in 29.33 by four lengths at 5/4. Both races .30 slow.
One Offaly winner in Newbridge, in an S1 sprint, Beechgrove Kaki ran a career best run of 17.59, winning by three lengths, at 2/1 for Ballycommon owner Kieran Grehan.
In Shelbourne Park, in the semi-finals of an A2 Sweepstake, Knight Honcho won the first for Oliver Bray in 28.71, by six lengths at 2/1, and My Little Ivy the second, for Karol Ramsbottom, in 28.53 by a neck at even money. Two Offaly winners on the supporting card, in an AO contest, Glenquain Pat also had a career best run when winning by an ever increasing nine lengths, in 28.47, at even money for Ballinagar owners Damien Cunningham and Liam Kirley. Also in an AO grade, Highview Moment won by two lengths at 2/1 in 28.60 for Merriman.
A cracking night's racing across all the tracks. Highlights. Limerick, semifinals of an A1 600, Down An Hour won the first in a fast 32.80 by one length at 6/1 for John O’Neill, the second semi went to Glowing Exile for Andrew Lynch, in 32.91, by a head at 3/1.
The top two races in Thurles were the semi-finals of the Kasco Dog Foods ON2 unraced, Cashen Ubari crossed the line first in the first in 29.27 (20 slow) by one length at 2/1 for James and Chris Hannon. The other semi was three lengths faster as Boherna Sydney backed up last weeks win with another top class performance, when stopping the clock in 29.07 (20 slow) by two lengths at 2/1, for local owner Frank Dwan.
Curraheen Park in Cork had the second round of this year’s Laurels as their top rated races. Eight heats, with some of the best early paced dogs in the country on show. Two of the older dogs were the top two on the clock, Ballymac Wild rolled back the years when winning in 28.23 (10 fast) by five lengths at 6/4. Wild has now won nineteen races with eleven second places and has amassed over €50k in prize money. Fastest on the night was another prolific winner in Skywalker Barry in 28.18 (10 fast) for Mark O’Donovan by four lengths at a short 1/2. Barry has now won fifteen of his twenty five races and he has over €41k in career earnings. Double on the night for Graham Holland, with all usual top trainers also having a winner. Quarter-finals next.
Two Offaly winners in a wet Mullingar, in the first round of an A2 Tri-distance stake, named in memory of two of Mullingar's finest patrons in their day, Sonny and Mary Murtagh. Three heats, with Bawn Farloe going fastest over the 525 trip in 29.25 by two lengths at 3/1 for local Westmeath owner Dan Byrne. The final heat was won by Kementari for Edenderry owner Paul Cronin in 29.40, by one length, at even money. Next week’s semifinals will be over the 550 distance. One other Faithful winner in an A3 grade as Korando came from way off the pace to get up by two lengths in 29.82 at 2/1 for Rhode owner P.J. Cocoman. All races in Mullingar were rated .50 slow.
A great card in Shelbourne with a fine crowd back supporting, plenty of action both on the tote (why there was only two windows open is a mystery) as well as at the bookies. In the quarterfinals of the SIS Juvenile derby, two standout performances, Coolavanny Duke made it seven wins from seven starts in 28.16 by one length at 6/4 for O’Donovan and Deadly Diego in 28.18 by four lengths at 6/1 for Ramsbottom.
In the first round of the RCETS AAO 600, won last year by the great Ballymac Kingdom, four heats went to traps, all ultra competitive. Fastest of the four was Allforthebest for the H-D-J syndicate in a rapid 32.23 by four lengths at 2/1. The second heat went to the impressive Glendalough for Ballinagar owner Liam Kirley in 32.64 by one length at 2/1. Two finals on the night, firstly an A1 dual distance 550/575, with the €1.5k pit going to Noelles Prosecco (Pat C Sabbath- Noelles Swiftco) in 31.47 by a short head at 6/4. The other final on the card was an AO 525 with the €1.5k purse here going to Shea Campbell as Stefans Rocket (Good News- Sylvias Chloe) won by one length in 28.75 at 9/4.
Just the one Offaly winner at the matinee in Mullingar in an A5 contest as Sallagh Rose won in a career best run of 29.37 (50 slow) by two lengths at 3/1 for Croghan trainer Mick Lynch.
Friday, second round of the A3 stake in Kilkenny, and final of A2 stake in Shelbourne. Saturday, quarterfinals of the Laurels in Cork, final of the A1 600 in Limerick, semifinals of the tri-distance as well as first round of the Fair Warrior in Mullingar. Final of the Kasco unraced in Thurles and semifinals of the SIS Juvenile derby and Open 600 in Shelbourne Park. Loads of top class racing to look forward to this week.
Tribune Offaly dog of the week
Liam Kirley's two winners were the quality ones of the week in Shelbourne, on Friday and Saturday. However Glendalough's win in the first round of the open 600 on Saturday, in a smart 32.64, gets the nod for dog of the week this week.
Eight Offaly Winners this week. Well done to all concerned.
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