Derek Frehill (Director of Racing) & Philip Peake (Interim CEO launch Ag Rásaíocht Le Chéile which will be held on the 12th & 13th November at greyhound racing venues nationwide
Offaly enjoyed ten winners across the greyhound tracks of the country last week.
With the Laurels finishing last Saturday in Cork another of the country’s top classics got underway, the Irish St.Leger in Limerick. First run in Celtic Park in Belfast in 1932, it has been a regular on the calendar ever since having been run in Clonmel, Harolds Cross and Shelbourne before finding its permanent home in Limerick since 1940. One of the best fields in years went to traps for the first round on Thursday and Saturday. There was also some quality racing else where with some top class Offaly winners.
Early Week Racing
In Enniscorthy, Monday in the semi-finals of the Dysert Kennels ON2 unraced stake, Killoughrim Bale won the first in 29.50 (20 slow) by two lengths for Alan Dagg and Tom Dempsey. The second semi went to Dysert De Burca for the sponsors in 29.38 (20 slow) by one length with Maria Byrne training.
In Shelbourne, on Tuesday, in the final of the Retired Greyhound Trust A5 stake, Lolos Magic (Head Bound- Lolos Ferrari) won the €1.3k first prize for long time greyhound patron Ronnie Craven, in 28.84, by one length at 6/4 fav. In the final race on the card, Brunswick Billy had his fifth career win for Geashill trainer Margaret Bolton in an A2 contest in 29.09 by three lengths at 5/2.
In Clonmel, in the semi-finals of the Explosive Boy ON2 bitch unraced stake, Clogheen Lass once again showed her class when winning for the third week in a row for Graham Holland in 28.55 by twelve lengths. The other semi went to Aghaburren Bonny for Mossy O’Leary in 28.57 by three lengths. In the first round of the A1 Munster Juvenile cup, also in Clonmel, four heats with Magical Mary going fastest for Pat Guilfoyle for in 28.30 by six lengths.
In Galway, in the semi-finals of the Liam Brussels Memorial A5 stake, Concrete Man won the first for Michael Keating, in 29.21, by three lengths at 5/2. The second semi went to Tuckeys Jet for Gary Pepper in 29.27 by a neck also at 5/2. Kilkenny hosted the first round of the Deadly Kennels A2 525 stake, seven heats with Lemon Yohan going fastest for Karol Ramsbottom, in 29.09 (30 slow) by eight lengths, at 4/6 favourite.
In Newbridge, in the final of an A3 sweepstake, the €1.2k purse went to Droopys Sonic (Tullymurry Act- Droopys Justine) in 28.81 by two lengths with Rathangan trainer Robert Gleeson at the helm. One Offaly winner on the supporting card, Meadowvale Gaga won an S6 sprint in 18.04 by three lengths at 5/2, again with Margaret Bolton training.
Two finals of note in Shelbourne, on Friday, the Lodgefield Kennels A3 was first up with Enthusiast (Droopys Sydney - Folly View) winning, in 28.78 by two lengths, at 2/1 with the €2k cheque going north to County Down with Brendan Mathews training. The second final was the RCETS A1 dual distance 525/550, Jacks Lockup (Laughil Blake - Woe Katie) was first past the post, in 29.90 by one length, at 5/2. The €1.6k pit went to trainer Owen J Doyle.
The pick of the racing in Mullingar was the semi-finals of the SIS Fair Warrior. Two great heats both within half a length of each other. The first semifinal went to the outsider in the betting as Millrose Melody won at 10/1, for Leanne Rafferty, in 21.53 (20 slow) by five lengths. The second semi went to last year’s winner Olympic Dollar in 21.56 (20 slow), by two lengths at 6/4, for Beatrice Steiner. Next weeks final will be a tight contest as all of the six participants are certainly not without a chance. There were three Offaly winners on the supporting card, with two of them in stake finals. In an A8 525 final Killeshill Nico justified its favourite status of 4/5 when winning in 30.50 (70 slow), by two lengths, for Croghan owner Vincent Lynch. In the final of an A2 600 yard stake, Ripley Lightning was a three length winner in 33.87 (80 slow) at 3/1 for Cavan owner Austin Kelly with Paddy McCormack training. In the first round of an A5 stake, sponsored by Lodgefield Kennels, four heats, with Ollys Niamh winning one for Banagher owner Mary Moran in 30.31 (70 slow) by three lengths at 5/4.
The semi-finals of the Puppy Oaks were the main event in Shelbourne Park. Last week’s fastest winner Scooby Duchess backed it up this week with another super display when winning by six lengths, at 4/5, for Jennifer O’Donnell in a brilliant 28.10. This daughter of Droopys Sydney will surely take all the beating in Saturday’s final. The other semi was won in a more modest time as Glory Katy stopped the clock in 28.52, by three lengths at 6/4, with Shiela Duncan training.
One Offaly winner in headquarters on Saturday in the final of the Retired Greyhound Trust AO 525, Highview Moment (Jaytee Jet- Highview Daisy) won the €2k purse for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman in 28.44 by two lengths at 2/1.
Irish St. Leger
The first round of the Matchbook Betting Exchange Irish St. Leger got underway this week with ninety six dogs going to traps for a first prize of €30k after five weeks of racing. It’s going to be a tough battle to see whose name will be on the cup after the heroics of Epic Hero last year. There were six heats on Thursday with another ten on Saturday. Pat Buckley won three of Thursdays heats and had the fastest winner when Scarty Yank stopped the clock in 29.49, by four lengths, at 5/4 favourite. Saturday, Graham Holland dominated proceedings with three heats winners of the ten on view, he also had the fastest as Part Blake won at a decent 12/1 in 29.51, by two lengths, with the favourite to win this event Explosive Boy in second. Next fastest on a super nights racing in the Treaty city was Loher Ron for Noel O’Leary in 29.68, by six lengths, at 5/1. A lot of racing still to be done in this stake yet.
Four Offaly winners at the matinee meeting in Mullingar, three from the Jones’s in Moneygall, all in A3 company, first up was Lingrawn Heidi, in 29.59, by four lengths for Mary Jones. Lingrawn Elody was Mary’s second, having his twelveth career win in 30.33 by one length at 4/1. The other Jones winner was for Kevin as Lingrawn Niamh won in 30.23, by two lengths, at 7/2. Our final winner of the week was for Vincent Lynch as Killeshill Oscar won an A5 contest in 30.65, by four lengths, at 3/1. All races in Mullingar were rated .50 slow.
Monday, final of the Dysert Kennels ON2 unraced in Enniscorthy. Friday, final of the Explosive Boy ON2 unraced bitch stake and semi-finals of the Munster Juvenile Cup in Clonmel, final of the Liam Brussels stake in Galway and second round of the Deadly Kennels A2 525 in Kilkenny. Saturday, second round of the Leger in Limerick, final of the Puppy Oaks in Shelbourne, semi-finals of Lodgefield kennels A5 and final of the SIS Fair Warrior in Mullingar.
Tribune Offaly dog of the week
Gerry Merriman’s Highview Moment gets the vote this week having won an AO stake final in Shelbourne on Saturday in fine style in 28.44 by two lengths. Worthy winner.
Ten Offaly winner this week, congratulations to all involved.
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