Quite a number of sweepstakes getting to the business end of things around the tracks this week. The semifinals of the Cesarewitch in Mullingar on Sunday were the highlight of the week’s racing but plenty of top class action as usual.
Early Week Racing
Sadly no Offaly winners in the first half of the week. In Shelbourne, Thursday, in the final of the A5 Retired Greyhound Trust, Raha Mofo (Droopys Sydney - Clares Queen) won the €1.2k prize by a large margin of eleven lengths in 28.26 (20 fast) at odds of 4/5 with Murt Leahy training.
In Newbridge, in the first round of Friends of Newbridge A1 550 Derby, five heats with Hawkfield Breeze going fastest for Jamie McGee in 29.87 by six lengths at 2/1.
Kilkenny hosted the first round of one of their top annual events in the Champion Open Unraced stake. Eight heats with Hes The Greatest, the only dog to go under the 29.00 barrier, when winning in 28.94 (30 slow), by six lengths at 4/6 fav, with Brendan Mathews at the helm. Also in Kilkenny, in the final of the Phonsie McDonald Memorial A3 stake, the €1.25 first prize went to Boothebest (Laughil Blake - Ales Smile) and trainer Thomas Buggy in 29.27 (30 slow) by a head at 5/2.
Tralee held the quarter-finals of the Lee Strand A3 550, both Ballymac Finn (Liam Dowling) and Take A Gamble (Jack Foley) had equal fastest times of 29.92 (10 fast). Other two heats were only a length or so slower. Interesting semifinals on Friday.
Shelbourne Park staged the first round of the Islandbridge Open 350 sprint, four heats with experienced sprinter Gizmo Cash going fastest, again for Jamie McGee in 18.44 (15 fast) by five lengths at 2/1.
In the final of an A3 575 stake, Burnell Bruiser (Droopys Jet- Cats Belle) won for Garristown trainer Liam O’Rourke in 31.43 (30 fast) by a head at 6/4. €1.5k to the winner here.
Two Offaly winners on the supporting card, in the first race of the night, Highview Freda won for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman in 29.00 (30 fast) by three lengths at 2/1. In an A3 575, Fahy Devine was a three length winner for Paddy McCormack, in a fast 31.22 (30 fast), by three lengths at 6/4 fav.
First Offaly winner was in Thurles. Totos Day was first home in an A4 grade in 29.49 (20 slow), by three lengths at 4/1, for Birr owner Tony McCormack and Denis Fogarty. In Shelbourne, in the semifinals of an A1 bitch stake, Droopys Request won the first in 28.48 (20 fast) by five lengths at 1/2 fav for Rathangan trainer Robert Gleeson. The second semi went to Burgess Rapid for Sheila Spillane and J.J. Fennelly in 28.44 (20 fast) by two lengths at 5/4 fav. Very little between these two heading into Saturday’s final.
In Mullingar, just the one Offaly winner, in an A8 525, Alaska Dream was a run away ten length winner 29.80 (50 slow) at 1/2 fav for Edenderry owner Thomas Glynn with David Murray training.
One final of note in Curraheen Park in Cork, in an ON3 unraced stake, No Detail (Bull Run Bolt- Coolavanny Slip) won by four lengths at even money fav with the €1k purse going to Pat Norris in 28.93 (10 fast).
In Limerick, in the semi-finals of the Epic Hero Limerick Oaks, Burgess Josie was first over the whitewash for Pat Buckley in 28.43 by two lengths at 5/2. The second semi went to Burgess Cassie in 28.61 by a neck also at 5/2 for once again Sheila Spillane and Fennelly.
The semi-finals of the RPGTV Irish Cesarewitch was the highlight of a terrific card at the matinee meeting in Mullingar. Two brilliant heats, with one expected winner and one surprise. The first heat went to Toolmaker Beach in 32.98 (60 slow) by six lengths at 11/8 fav for Gleeson. The second semi went to Beaming Scarlet for Corona Ryan at 10/1 in 33.04 (60 slow) by one length. One Offaly dog qualified for the final as last weeks dog of the week winner Glendalough showed plenty of courage and speed to get up to be third in his heat and is certainly not without a chance in Sunday’s final.
Three Offaly winners on the supporting card, two for Geashill trainer Margaret Bolton, in an A5 grade, Crackon Daisy was a one length winner in 29.91 (50 slow) at 11/4. Her second winner was Kilbride Dan also in an A5 contest in 29.94 (50 slow) by two lengths at 6/1. Our final winner of the week was in an A7 race as Horseleap Misty had her first career win in Eleven starts for Sean McGuinness in 30.34 (50 slow) by a neck at 5/4 fav
Friday, semi-finals of the Islandbridge open sprint in Shelbourne, quarterfinals of the Newbridge A1 Derby, second round of the Champion unraced in Kilkenny and semi-finals of the Lee Strand A3 550 in Tralee. Saturday, final of the A1 bitch stake in Shelbourne and final of the Epic Hero Oaks in Limerick. Sunday, final of the Irish Cesarewitch in Mullingar. Loads of top class action to look forward to in the coming week.
Tribune Offaly dog of the week.
Highview Freda gets the vote this week winning an A4 race in Shelbourne on Friday by three lengths in 29.00 for Croghan trainer Gerry Merriman.
Just seven Offaly winners this week. Congratulations to all involved in any way.
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