What a week of racing, on both sides of the Irish Sea. Second round of the English Derby at Towcester dominated proceedings in Britain. At home we had class finals in Newbridge, Tralee, Cork and Kilkenny, plus the second round of the Irish Oaks in Shelbourne. Some decent Offaly winners to add to the mix in what was an exciting week’s racing
Early week racing
There were four great heats in Enniscorthy, on Monday, in the quarter-finals of the Kanasef unraced ON2, with Chinas Best again going fastest for the Maori Syndicate, in 29.38 (20 slow), by three lengths.
Thursday, in Shelbourne Park, in the final of an A4 525 sweepstake Leahs Duke (Superior Product - Tegan’s Turn) won the €2.5k cheque for owners David and Thomas Weadick, in 28.77 by two lengths, at 5/2. In an A4 575 final, worth €1.75k to the winner, Hollyhill Hero (Laughil Duke - Leevalley Dancer) was a three length winner, in 31.55 at 4/6 with Paraic Campion training.
Also on Thursday, at the morning meeting in Waterford, in the final of the John Mitchell Bookmaker's A4 525, Almighty Emma (Skywalker Farloe - Pine Candy) won for owners Stephen and Gerard Purcell in 29.01 (10 fast) by one length, at 5/2, with €1.1k to the owners here.
First Offaly winner of the week was in Galway, in an S6 350 sprint, Colossal Knight won by one length at 7/2 in 19.56 (10 slow) for Geashill trainer Margaret Bolton. First of the big finals was in Newbridge with the Friends Of Newbridge A1 550 Derby, a worthy winner as Toolmaker Wilde (Droopys Jet - Kilara Lizzie) went through this stake unbeaten and won the €3.5k pot for trainer Robert Gleeson in 29.52 by five lengths at 5/4.
One final in Shelbourne, in an A1 550, Cricket Score (Droopys Sydney - Coolavanny Ester) won by two lengths at 6/4 in a fast 29.56 with the €1.5k purse going to Donald O’Neill. In the first round of the Retired Greyhound Trust A1 525, four heats with Black Matador easily doing the fastest run in 28.27 by three lengths at 4/6 with Navan trainer Oliver Bray at the helm.
The most valuable final on Saturday was in Tralee with the climax of the Lee Strand A3 550, the cream came to the top here as Tullig Cryname (Droopys Sydney - Hail Cleopatra) made it seven wins from seven starts when winning by five lengths, in 29.53 (10 fast) at 4/7, with the €6.5k cheque going to trainer Pat Buckley.In Waterford in the first round of the Mooncoin ON3 unraced stake, four heats with two of the winners for Kilcormac owners Mary and Paul Jennings. Laughil Ollie won in 29.18 (10 fast) and Laughil Sean in 29.07 (10 fast), both these are trained by local Waterford man Declan Byrne.
Clonmel hosted the semi-finals of the Larry O’Rourke sponsored National Produce Stakes. Both heats were won by Graham Holland trained dogs, with Newinn Homer winning the first in 28.41 by two lengths at 7/4 and the much talked about future star Swords Rex winning the second in a brilliant 27.94 by eight lengths at an unbackable 1/3. Final looks like Rex’s to lose.
In the semi-finals of the Kieran Purcell Memorial Guys and Dolls A3 stake, also in Clonmel, Bloodsweatnbeers won the first semi for Nigel Quinn in 29.24 by one length at 6/4. The second semi went to Bogger Cabela for Liam Peacock in a faster 28.71 by two lengths at 4/1.
Some fine racing in Curraheen Park in Cork culminating in the final of the Dan and Sheila Buckley memorial A2 525. Ballyboy Deme (Laughil Blake - Mini Con Jou) won the first prize of €1.7k for David Harrington in a fast 28.28 (10 fast) by three lengths at 3/1. Also in Cork, in the first round of The Deadly Kennels Open 750, three heats with Ballybough Champ going fastest for Murt Leahy in 42.09 (20 fast) by a neck at 7/2.
Limerick held the quarter-finals of the Greyhound and Petworld Golden Muzzle A1 550, Whats Up Jack set the standard here when winning in 29.81 by two lengths at 7/4 for the O-L Syndicate
One Offaly winner in Mullingar, in an A6 contest, Combi Drill had his first career win in three starts for Rhode owner Sean Cocoman in 30.44 (60 slow) by a head at 2/1.
Six very exciting heats took place in the second round of the Sporting Press Online Edition Irish Oaks in Shelbourne Park, fastest of the six was Rafa Mofo for Leahy in 28.15 by seven lengths at 6/4. Next fastest on the clock was Ballymac Whispa for Liam Dowling and Clogheen Lass for Holland who dead heated in their tussle in 28.18. Two Offaly dogs are still there heading into Saturdays quarter-finals, Highview Moment for Gerry Merriman and Fahy Devine for Paddy McCormack.
Sixteen heats in the second round of the Star Sports and TRC English Derby, with eight on Friday and eight on Saturday. Ten Irish dogs went to traps on Friday with only four qualifying for the third round. Two of these four were winners, Hello Hammond for Paul Hennessy and fastest winner on the night Ballinabola Ed for Pat Buckley.
Saturday, four more Irish winners from the eight heats, the super Singalong Sally for Buckley again, Jaytee Wexford for Hennessy, Romeo Magico for Holland and Kildare for Peter Cronin. Of the forty eight dogs remaining, fourteen are Irish and we certainly hold most of the aces heading into Saturday's third round. The remaining dogs are with Pat Buckley and Paul Hennessy with four each, Graham Holland, Peter Cronin and Liam Dowling have two each. Expect most of the fourteen to qualify for the quarterfinals. Fingers crossed.
Two Offaly winners at the matinee meeting in Mullingar, Lahinch Butterfly won an A6 race in 30.21 (60 slow) by three lengths at 5/4 for Clara owner P.J. Cleary. Our final winner of the week was in an A4 grade as Weather Snap won for Ballycommon owner Peter Raine in 30.25 (60 slow) by one length at 3/1.
At the evening meeting in Kilkenny, in the final of one of the most anticipated unraced stakes of the year, the Kilkenny Track Champion unraced stake, Another Holiday (Dorotas Wildcat- Vigorous Lindsay) showed its class when going through the stake unbeaten and winning the €10k first prize for Michael O’Donovan in 29.00 (20 slow) at 11/10 fav. Expect to see a lot more of this young pup in the future as he seems to have everything to make him a future champion.
Friday, semi-finals of the Retired Greyhound Trust A1 525 in Shelbourne. Saturday, semi-finals of the Deadly Kennels Open 750 in Cork, semifinals of the Greyhound and Petworld Golden Muzzle in Limerick, semi-finals of the Mooncoin Unraced in Waterford and quarterfinals of the Irish Oaks in Shelbourne. Quarter-finals of the English Derby in Towcester. Sunday, final of the National Produce stakes and Guys and Dolls A3 stake, both in Clonmel.
Tribune Offaly dog of the week
The Jennings, Mary and Paul made the long trip from Kilcormac to Waterford to watch two of the pups on debut and both winning with Laughil Sean going the fastest of the two when winning in 29.07 (10 fast). He is a worthy winner this week.
Six Offaly winners this week. Congratulations to all involved.
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