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27 Nov 2021

Magnificent seven for Offaly at the dogs last week

Magnificent seven for Offaly at the dogs last week

After the week’s racing we’re down to the final of the Leger in Limerick. Expect a classic on Saturday as six of the best dogs in training will be vying to take home the €20k first prize. If the semifinals are anything to go by it should be a cracker. Sadly Offaly winners were very scarce at the start of the week but things improved towards the end with some quality ones.

Early Week Racing

Tuesday, in Shelbourne Park, in the semi-finals of an ON2 sweepstake, Koplar Varus was first to cross the whitewash in 28.77, in the first by two lengths, at even money for Owen McKenna. The second semi went to Emolument for Pat Norris in 28.68 by four lengths at 4/6 fav. Highview Iris was our first Offaly winner of the week for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman in an A3 race in 29.21 by three lengths at 2/1.

Friday Racing

The first final of note this week was in Kilkenny The Deadly Kennels A2 stake with local trainer Paul Hennessy winning the spoils here as Hello Hammond (Jaytee Jet - Jaytee Pearl) won the €5k first prize, in 29.08 (20 slow), by one length at 2/1. Lemon Vicky was runner up with a cheque for €1.5k going to Murt Leahy.

Two sweepstakes got underway in Newbridge, in track supporters A5 stake, three heats with Digger The Dog delivering the fastest run for Eric Thorpe, in 29.17, by three lengths at 9/4. In an A3 stake, two heats with Battle Ready getting the first for Jimmy Slevin in 28.89 by two lengths, at 5/2, and Hollywell Samba the second for Alison Coxon, in 28.87, by four lengths at 5/2.

In Shelbourne Park the first round of the D.G.O.B.A Dublin A1 Cup, won last year by Urban Fire for Rathangan owner Reggie Robert. Six heats, with Predator Scoby in the fourth heat going fastest, in 28.49, by four lengths at 1/2 fav for Pat Buckley. Two stakes came to a conclusion, firstly the final of the Shelbourne ON1 unraced, Cielo (Droopys Sydney - Mags Image) was an easy four length winner, also in 28.49 at 4/1 with the €1.5k first prize going to McKenna. The second final was in an A3 contest, Cappuccino (Kinloch Brea - Samiya Dawn) for Eamonn Devlin, in 28.67 by two lengths, at 2/1, with another €1.5k going his way.

Saturday Racing

Curraheen Park in Cork hosted the semifinals of the Davy O’Brien memorial A2 stake, Drive On Champ won the first in 29.06 (10 fast) by a head at 7/4 for Chris O’Donovan. The second heat went to Knockboy Kay for Kevin McLean in 29.11 (10 fast), by one length, at 5/2.

For the first time in a while there was no Offaly winner on a Saturday in Mullingar. Shelbourne, some fantastic racing with one race that would do the derby final proud. In the semi-finals of the National Puppy stakes, the new talking dog Twoinarow justified his 2/5 price by winning the first in 28.21 by two lengths for Waterford trainer Pat Kiely. The second semi went to Slippy Hazel a more modest 28.57, by two lengths, at 6/4 with Murt Leahy at the helm. Two finals on the night, in the Talking Dogs AO 550, Knight Tornado (Droopys Cain- Royal Highflyer) won the €2k pot for trainer Graham Holland in 29.57 by one length at 6/4.

The second final was the AAO Greyhound Trust 525, the €2.2k purse went to Tipperary as Epic News (Good News- Jaytee Sahara) was first past the line for John and Marie Kennedy in 28.49, by three lengths, at 5/4. One Offaly winner on the night and it was certainly an impressive one as Glenquain Pat had his seventh career win, all in top class company for Ballinagar owners Damien Cunningham and Liam Kirley in an AAO 525, in 28.53, by three lengths at a decent 5/1.

St. Leger

The best racing of the week was in Limerick, in the semi-finals of the Matchbook Betting Exchange Irish St. Leger. Two cracking heats over the 550 yard trip, with the first going to Allforthebest for the H-D-J syndicate in 29.64 by a neck at 6/1 with Priceless Jet second for Paul Hennessy and Part Blake qualifying for final in third for Graham Holland. The second semi was faster was Russian Glory won in 29.46, again for Holland by three lengths at 6/4.  2020 English Derby winner Deerjet Sydney was second for Pat Buckley with Ballymac Merlin in third for Liam Dowling.

Any of the six finalists on Saturday can win this, all certainly in final on their own merits and picking the winner is a dubious ask. Holland with two in final and with Part Blake delivering the fastest run of the Leger in the earlier rounds, he's surely holding most of the aces but you wouldn’t rule out Buckley with Deerjet Sydney as he knows how to win on the big nights. All to play for.

Some decent racing on the supporting card in Limerick, with the first round of the Epic Hero ON2 unraced stake, again four heats with Droopys Pilgrim going fastest for local trainer Denis O’Malley in 28.71 by five lengths at 2/1. One of the heats went to Offaly as Laughil Roy won in 28.98 by two lengths at even money for Kilcormac owners Mary and Paul Jennings.

Sunday Racing

Four Offaly winners at the matinee meeting in Mullingar, three for Moneygall owner Mary Jones, all under the Lingrawn prefix. Lingrawn Buster was the first winner in an A4 grade in 29.88 by a short head in 7/2. Mary’s next was Lingrawn Billy in an A6 contest in 30.13 by two lengths at 7/2. The South Offaly trainer final winner was Lingrawn Lola in an A3 grade in 29.99 by three lengths at 5/4. Our final Offaly  winner of the week was Fahy Rose who won an A4 race in 29.88 by five lengths at 7/4 for Paddy McCormack. All races in Mullingar were rated .60 slow.

Upcoming Event

Tuesday, final of the ON2 unraced in Shelbourne. Friday, semifinals of an A5 stake and final of an A3 in Newbridge. Quarterfinals of the Dublin Cup in Shelbourne. Saturday, final of the Davy O’Brien memorial A2 in Cork, final of the National Puppy Stakes in Shelbourne, semifinals of the Epic Hero unraced and the big one, final of the Matchbook Betting Exchange Irish St. Leger in Limerick.

Tribune Offaly dog of the week

Once again any winner on a Saturday night in Shelbourne hold so much merit and Glenquain Pat easily gets the vote this week winning an AAO in 28.53 for Liam Kirley and Damien Cunningham.
Birthday wishes

Word on the street is that Cappincur great and greyhound stalwart Charlie Colgan had a big birthday celebration last week, (slightly over 79 but not yet 81). Congratulations also to another great character Jane Gonoud who had a big birthday too. Wishing both very happy birthdays.

Offaly winners

Seven Offaly winners this week. Well done to all concerned.

D.C.

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